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Suicide blast in mosque near Afghanistan's Green Zone leaves 1 dead, 3 injured

Suicide blast in mosque near Afghanistan's Green Zone leaves 1 dead, 3 injured
A suicide bomber has struck a mosque at the entrance to the international zone in the Afghan capital Kabul during evening prayers, killing one person and injuring at least three others.

Interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian confirmed that the attacker blew himself up inside a washroom at the Wazir Akbar Khan mosque in the central district, next to the Green Zone – home to international offices, journalists and diplomats – at around 7:25pm local time on Tuesday. The mosque's imam Mohammad Ayaz Niazi was killed in the blast.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Kabul has recorded more than 30 blasts over the past two months, leaving several people dead and more injured. The frequent explosions have raised serious security concerns in the city, with the head of the Afghan parliament’s internal security commission telling local outlets on Tuesday that there’s an “intelligence weakness” among the authorities as attackers deploy diverse techniques.

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On Saturday, a minibus carrying employees of a Kurdish TV channel was hit by a roadside bomb blast in Kabul, killing two people and injuring several others. The Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) group has claimed responsibility for the strike.

"The Afghan government is seriously investigating this attack," government spokesman Feroz Bashari posted on Twitter in the wake of Saturday’s assault. 

Tuesday’s suicide bombing comes almost a week after the end of a three-day ceasefire between Taliban and Afghan national security forces. The temporary cessation of violence was put in effect to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.  

At least 17 suspects have been arrested on charges of planting mines in Kabul, according to Tariq Arian, and investigations have been launched to uncover and “eliminate” their networks.

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