KANDAHAR: The Daesh group on Saturday claimed accountability for a suicide bomb assault on a Shia mosque within the southern Afghan metropolis of Kandahar that killed not less than 41 individuals and injured scores extra.
The Friday assault got here only a week after one other Daesh-claimed assault on Shia worshippers at a mosque within the northern metropolis of Kunduz that killed greater than 60 individuals.
In a press release launched on its Telegram channels, the group stated two Daesh-Khorasan suicide bombers carried out separate assaults on completely different elements of the mosque in Kandahar — the non secular heartland of the Taliban — whereas worshippers prayed inside.
UK-based battle evaluation agency ExTrac stated Friday’s assault was the primary by Daesh-Okay in Kandahar, and the fourth mass casualty bloodbath for the reason that Taliban took Kabul.
ExTrac researcher Abdul Sayed informed AFP the assault was “difficult the Taliban claims of holding management on the nation. If the Taliban cannot shield Kandahar from an Daesh-Okay assault, how might it shield the remainder of the nation?”
Contained in the mosque, after the blast, the partitions had been pockmarked with shrapnel and volunteers swept up particles within the ornately painted prayer corridor. Rubble lay in an entrance hall.
Within the wake of the explosions, Kandahar police chief Maulvi Mehmood stated “a brutal assault has been witnessed on a Shia mosque on account of which an enormous variety of our countrymen have misplaced their lives”.
In a video assertion, Mehmood stated safety for the mosque had been supplied by guards from the Shia group however that henceforth the Taliban would take cost of its safety.
Hafiz Abdulhai Abbas, director of well being for Kandahar, informed AFP 41 individuals had been killed about 70 wounded, in keeping with hospital data.
At the very least 15 ambulances had been seen speeding to and from the scene, as Taliban safety cordoned off the realm.
“We’re overwhelmed,” a physician on the metropolis’s central Mirwais hospital informed AFP.
“There are too many useless our bodies and wounded individuals delivered to our hospital. We predict extra to return. We’re in pressing want of blood. Now we have requested all of the native media in Kandahar to ask individuals to return and donate blood.”
Eyewitnesses spoke of gunfire alongside the explosions, and a safety guard assigned to guard the mosque stated three of his comrades had been shot because the bombers fought their manner in.
Sayed Rohullah informed AFP: “It was the Friday prayer time, and once we had been making ready I heard photographs. Two individuals had entered the mosque.
“That they had opened hearth on the guards and in response the guards had additionally opened hearth on them. Certainly one of them dedicated a suicide blast contained in the mosque.”
Different bombs had been detonated in crowded areas exterior the principle constructing, he and different witnesses stated.
“We’re saddened to be taught that an explosion passed off in a mosque of the Shia brotherhood within the first district of Kandahar metropolis through which numerous our compatriots had been martyred and wounded,” tweeted Taliban inside ministry spokesman Qari Sayed Khosti.
The US State Division spokesman Ned Value stated Washington condemned the assault and reiterated a name for the “Taliban to stay as much as the dedication it has made to counterterrorism, and particularly to taking up the shared risk we face from [Daesh]-Okay”.
“We’re decided to see to it that no group… can ever once more use Afghan soil as a launching pad for assaults on the USA or different international locations.”
The UN mission in Afghanistan in a tweet additionally condemned the “newest atrocity focusing on a spiritual establishment and worshippers”.
“These accountable must be held to account.”
The brand new Taliban-led administration has vowed to stabilise the nation, and within the wake of the Kunduz assault promised to guard the Shia minority now residing underneath its rule.
Shias are estimated to make up roughly 10% of the Afghan inhabitants. Lots of them are Hazara, an ethnic group that has been persecuted in Afghanistan for many years.
In October 2017, a Daesh suicide attacker struck a Shia mosque within the west of Kabul, killing 56 individuals and wounding 55.