Taliban: Car bomb near Kabul mosque kills 7, wounds 41

KABUL, Afghanistan – A car bomb exploded Friday as worshipers were leaving a mosque in Kabul, killing at least seven people and injuring 41, including several children. , a Taliban official said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing, the latest in a steady string of attacks since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan just over a year ago.

A column of black smoke rose into the sky and gunshots rang out minutes after the explosion near the mosque, located in the upscale diplomatic residential area of ​​the Afghan capital.

A Taliban-appointed Interior Ministry spokesman, Abdul Nafi Takor, said the vehicle with the explosives was parked on the side of the road near the mosque and exploded as worshipers were making their way out after prayers on Thursday. Six. He added that an investigation is underway, with police at the scene.

Mohammad Basir, a witness, said: “Many people were martyred or injured. “I don’t know if there was a roadside dynamite or a car bomb, but there was an explosion, and everyone was in bad shape.”

Another witness, Allah Noor, said the explosion was very powerful.

“I stepped out and crossed the street when there was an explosion,” he said. “Soon after the explosion, people began to worry about evacuating the injured to the hospital.”

The Italian Emergency Hospital, one of Kabul’s clinics that treated the victims, said it received 14 casualties from the site, with four dead on arrival.

Khalid Zadran, a spokesman for the Kabul police chief, said worshipers were purposefully targeted as they were leaving the Wazir Akbar Khan Mosque.

“Targeting mosques and worshipers is an unforgivable crime, the nation should cooperate with the regime to eliminate the crime,” said Taliban government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

The Islamic State group – the Taliban’s top rival since it took over Afghanistan just over a year ago – had previously targeted mosques and followers, especially members of the Shiite population. minority in Afghanistan during the attacks.

The United Nations Mission in Kabul tweeted that the bombing was a “bitter reminder of the ongoing insecurity and terrorist activity in Afghanistan.”

“Our thoughts are with the families of those killed, wishing those injured a speedy recovery,” the mission known as UNAMA added.

Faiez reported from Islamabad.

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