At Least 100 People Dead After Blast In Afghan Mosque Used By Minority Shia Community

A powerful explosion that ripped through a Shia mosque in northern Afghanistan killed at least 100 people on Friday. This happened as Taliban rulers face increasing threats from Islamist groups such as IS-K or Islamic State in Khorasan.

After a bomb attack on a mosque in Kunduz, Afghan men transport the body of a victim to an ambulance. AFP via Getty Images

The Key Facts

On Friday, members of the Shia minority religious group gathered at large numbers to pray weekly at the Gozar-e-Sayed Abad Mosque. Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban chief spokesperson, tweeted that many worshippers had been killed or injured. Later, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan tweeted that over 100 people had been injured and killed. Mujahid suggested that the mosque had been targeted and that Taliban special forces were on the scene to investigate. It is not known what caused the explosion and no one has claimed responsibility.

Important Background

Friday's bombing highlights the security crisis in Afghanistan. The Taliban government must deal with militants from the Islamic State in Khorasan, an Islamic States local offshoot. Many blasts have occurred in Afghanistan in recent weeks, including one at a Kabul mosque. IS-K claimed some of these attacks. In the last few weeks, the Taliban have carried out operations against a Kabul cell of the Sunni militant group. In August, IS-K launched an attack against a Kabul-cell of the rival Sunni militant outfit. It killed 13 U.S. soldiers and injured hundreds of Afghans.

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Witnesses and Taliban claim that a bombing at an Afghan mosque has killed many (Associated Press).

Bomb blast kills worshippers in northeastern Afghanistan mosque (Reuters)