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Huge explosion hits Shiite Mosque in Afghan city of Kunduz, dozens killed

Huge explosion hits Shiite Mosque in Afghan city of Kunduz, dozens killed
A huge explosion ripped through a Shiite Mosque during Friday prayer in Afghanistan’s northern Kunduz province. Sources say that at least 60 people have been killed by the blast.

On Friday, a blast ripped through Sayed Abad Mosque in Afghanistan’s northern Kunduz province. It reportedly occurred as local residents attended the Shiite Mosque for Friday prayer.

WARNING: GRAPHIC 

Unconfirmed video footage of a distressing nature appears to show dozens of bodies strewn out across the floor of the mosque.

Afghanistan’s TOLOnews said that local officials have confirmed the blast but were unable to provide further details about the cause or casualties. Reports suggest that dozens of people have died.

Aamaj News Agency, citing witnesses, stated that as many as 100 people have died in the blast. A Taliban official said the blast was caused by a suicide bombing, noting that the death toll had risen to at least 60.

“This afternoon, an explosion took place in a mosque of our Shiite compatriots in the Khan Abad district of Bandar, the capital of Kunduz province,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement on Twitter, confirming that many had died and others were injured. He stated that special units had arrived at the scene and were investigating.

Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) later claimed responsibility for the blast.

Also on rt.com Taliban arrests 11 ISIS members in Kabul after explosion outside mosque

Since taking control of the country in August, Afghanistan’s new Taliban government has struggled to neutralize the ISIS affiliate group, Islamic State-Khorasan Province (ISIS-K). The group has claimed responsibility for several deadly attacks including a suicide bombing outside Kabul’s airport in August, which killed 13 US soldiers, dozens of Taliban members, and over 160 Afghan civilians.

On Tuesday, the Taliban said its fighters captured 11 members of ISIS-K in Kabul, just one day after another raid had reportedly wiped out an ISIS-K cell in the city. The offensive came in response to the bombing of the Eid Gah Mosque, the capital’s second-largest place of worship, on Sunday.

Also on rt.com Here’s what we know about ISIS-K, the splinter jihadist group, which Biden warned was ‘seeking to target’ Kabul airport

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