Afghan suicide mosque attacks kill scores of worshippers

Some 60 people have been killed in two separate attacks on mosques in Afghanistan, officials say.

A gunman entered a Shia Muslim mosque in Kabul before opening fire and detonating an explosive, killing at least 39 worshippers.

An attack on a Sunni Muslim mosque in Ghor province killed 20 people.

So-called Islamic State (IS) said it carried out the attack on Kabul’s Imam Zaman mosque, but provided no evidence for the claim.

The group has previously targeted Shia mosques across Afghanistan.

The new attacks bring to at least 176 the number of people killed in bomb attacks across the country this week.

One eyewitness told the BBC that the scene at the Imam Zaman mosque, in the west of Kabul, looked like a “front line”.

Another witness, Mahmood Shah Husaini, said people had been praying when the bomber detonated his explosives.

The attacker is reported to have opened fire as worshippers gathered for Friday prayers, before detonating a bomb.

Kabul police spokesman Basir Mojahid confirmed the incident at the Shia mosque in Kabul, but did not give further details.

A spokesman for the Afghan interior ministry said investigators were working at the scene to determine the “nature of the explosion,” AFP news agency reports.

The attack on the Sunni mosque in Ghor, central Afghanistan, also killed a pro-government militia commander, according to reports.

Details of the attacks remain unclear and the number of casualties is likely to rise. Dozens of worshippers were also injured, Afghan’s health ministry said.

Friday’s attacks come just days after police in Kabul said they had arrested a would-be suicide truck bomber, averting a major incident.

In August, more than 20 people were killed in a bomb attack against worshippers in Kabul. IS, a Sunni Islamist militant group, said it had carried out the attack. (Courtesy BBC)

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