Afghanistan: IS claims deadly suicide attack on Shia Mosque in Kandahar
Kabul: At least 47 people have been killed and 70 injured when a suicide bomber detonated a Shia mosque in a province in southern Afghanistan during Friday prayers. The mosque was overcrowded due to Friday prayers. A Taliban spokesman has given this information.
On Saturday, the Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing on a Shia mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar.
In a statement released on its Telegram channels, the organization said that, “Two Islamic State suicide bombers carried out separate attacks on different parts of the mosque in Kandahar – the spiritual stronghold of the Taliban – while worshipers were offering prayers inside.”
A week earlier, a local organization affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) bombed a Shia mosque in the northern province, killing 60 people.
UK-based conflict analysis firm Xtrack said Friday’s attack was the first attack by IS in Kandahar, and the fourth mass casualty massacre since the Taliban captured Kabul.
XTRAC researcher Abdul Saeed told AFP the attack was “challenging the Taliban’s claims of taking control of the country. If the Taliban can’t protect Kandahar from IS attacks, how can it protect the rest of the country?” Is?”
The bloodshed has raised fears that IS, an enemy of the Taliban, has expanded its presence in Afghanistan.
An eyewitness named Murtaza said that he was inside the mosque at the time of the attack. He said four suicide bombers attacked the mosque.
Two of the attackers blew themselves up outside the mosque while the other two blew themselves up inside the mosque. He told that hundreds of people offer Friday prayers in the mosque.
Another eyewitness named Murtaza, the mosque’s security in-charge, said he had seen two attackers. He said that one of the attackers blew himself up at the door of the mosque while the other attacker had already reached inside the mosque among the worshipers.
He said that another suspected attacker was shot dead by the security personnel of the mosque.
In the video footage of the incident, bodies are seen lying here and there and the carpet is red with blood. People are running here and there and shouting.
Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi put the death toll at 47 and the wounded at 70.
IS has claimed responsibility for several blasts since the Taliban took power in August amid the withdrawal of US forces. The group has also targeted Taliban fighters in small attacks.
After decades of war in Afghanistan, the Taliban have pledged to restore peace in the country. Both the Taliban and IS are groups of Sunni Muslims, but they are very different ideologically.
Among them, IS is quite the fanatic. They have fought against each other many times. The Taliban have pledged to protect the Shia minority, who were persecuted by the Taliban during their 1990s regime.