Explosion hits Afghanistan Shia mosque; toll rises to 47

At least 47 people have been killed and 70 others wounded after an explosion went off inside a Shia mosque in Afghanistan’s southern city of Kandahar.

Hafiz Sayeed, the Taliban’s chief for Kandahar’s department of culture and information, told reporters that 47 people have been killed and 70 others wounded after explosion took place in the Bibi Fatima mosque, the largest mosque for Shia worshippers in the city.

“We are saddened to learn that an explosion took place in a mosque of the Shia brotherhood in the first district of Kandahar city in which a number of our compatriots were martyred and wounded,” reads a tweet by interior ministry spokesman Sayed Khosti.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-K) claimed a similar bombing that killed scores of Shia people at a mosque in the northern city of Kunduz a week earlier, Al Jazeera reported.

AFP news agency quoted a witness named Murtaza, saying that he saw four suicide bombers attacking the mosque.

Two detonated their bombs at a security gate, allowing the other two to run inside and strike the congregation of worshippers, he said.

Al Jazeera’s Afghanistan reporter Stefanie Dekker, said the attack in Kandahar, the stronghold of the Taliban, seemed to send “a message that nowhere is safe.”

“The security card, the one the Taliban always played by saying they were the only group that could ensure security to the country, is now very much challenged,” she added.