Afghanistan: 10 killed in explosion at Kabul mosque

Photo: UNAMA News

The United Nations has condemned a deadly explosion at a Sufi mosque in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, on Friday, which reportedly killed at least 10 people and injured up to 15 more, many of them seriously. 

The blast at the Khalifa Sahib mosque, located in the Darulaman area in the west of the city, is the latest in a series of attacks on civilian targets in the capital and provinces. 

The explosion tore through the mosque, damaging the roof, which caved in on worshippers, the UN humanitarian affairs office (OCHA) in the country said, citing initial reports. 

Sayed Fazil Agha, head of the mosque, said someone believed to be a suicide bomber joined in the ceremony and detonated explosives, according to Al Jazeera.

Local hospitals reported far higher casualty figures, with dozens said to be killed and injured, including many children.  

A hospital ran by the non-governmental organization EMERGENCY, alone received more than 20 victims, two of whom were dead on arrival. 

A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, released a statement condemning the blast and saying the perpetrators would be found and punished.

Ramiz Alakbarov, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Afghanistan, issued a statement condemning the “heinous” attack. 

“Today’s blast, which comes on the last Friday of the holy week of Ramadan, is yet another painful blow to the people of Afghanistan who continue to be exposed to unremitting insecurity and violence,” he said.

“It is unconscionable for civilians to be targeted indiscriminately as they go about their daily business, gathering for prayers, going to school or the market, or on their way to work.”  

On Thursday, at least nine people were killed, and 15 wounded, in separate blasts on two minibusses in the city of Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan. 

Alakbarov reiterated that directing attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, including mosques, is strictly prohibited under international humanitarian law.