Afghanistan: Over 35 killed in suicide attack on Shi’ite mosque in Kandahar

More than 35 people were killed in explosions in a Shiite mosque during Friday prayers in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. About 70 people were …

More than 35 people were killed in explosions in a Shiite mosque during Friday prayers in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. About 70 people were injured.

It has been a week since a suicide attack on Shiite believers in Kunduz in the north of the country killed 46 people for which the Islamic State claimed responsibility.

Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi said an investigation into the latest attack has been launched.

A witness said he heard three explosions that shook the mosque in the center of the city. The weekly Friday service is usually attended by large crowds.

Another witness named Murtaza was in charge of the mosque’s security and said he saw two bombers. He said one had set explosives in front of the gate, the other had already been among the believers in the mosque.

He said mosque security personnel shot another suspected attacker outside.

Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan and the birthplace of the Taliban.

Nobody has taken responsibility yet, but Daesh, ISIS fighters, are enemies of the Taliban, which makes this blow significant.

If the attack were carried out by IS, it would be the first major attack by the extremist group in southern Afghanistan since the US withdrawal enabled the Taliban to consolidate control of the country.

Recent attacks in the north, east and the Afghan capital have cast doubt on the Taliban’s ability to meet the IS threat.

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