Dozens Killed In Islamic State Attack On Afghanistan Mosque
A suicide bombing at a Shiite mosque in northern Afghanistan killed and injured scores of worshippers on Friday, marking the worst attack since international forces left and the Taliban took power.
Photo Insert: Kunduz, Afghanistan
The Islamic State terrorist group took responsibility for the carnage and claimed via its propaganda mouthpiece, the Amaq News Agency, that 300 people were dead or injured, a higher toll than cited by others.
The Taliban are enemies of the Islamic State and have been fighting with the Sunni terrorist group since it emerged in Afghanistan in early 2015.
In the past, Islamic State attacks mainly took place in the capital Kabul and in the eastern provinces of Nangarhar and Kunar. Most recently, the extremist group claimed responsibility for a devastating attack in late August at Kabul airport during the international military evacuations. Nearly 200 people were reported to have died.
Afghanistan's state-run Bakhtar News Agency said at least 43 people were killed and 143 others wounded in the powerful blast in the Khan Abad area of Kunduz city.
A deputy director for the province’s health department said there were "around 50 dead and at least 50 wounded," while local journalists said at least 70 people were dead.
Details of the attack were sketchy but videos of the victims and the debris were shared widely on social media. One clip showed men and women running down a street screaming as they fled the bloodshed.
The Amaq News Agency said an Islamic State member detonated his explosive vest at the mosque while among the crowd of faithful from the Hazara community. The ethnic group has been a frequent target of the Sunni extremists over the years.
The Taliban have so far said little on the attack, acknowledging only that a deadly incident took place and that special forces had been sent to the scene.