Dozens killed in explosion at mosque in southern Afghanistan
Kabul — At least 41 people have been killed and 70 wounded in an explosion at a Shiite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, the Taliban's director of health in the city, Hafiz Abas, told CBS News. He said three suicide bombers were involved in the attack.
The blast came a week after a local Islamic State affiliate bombed a mosque in the north of the country, killing at least 46 people. That extremist group opposes the Taliban and views Shiite Muslims as apostates who deserve death.
A senior Taliban official told CBS News that the group's initial reports suggested suicide bombers had attacked the mosque.
"ISIS is targeting soft targets in Afghanistan to create challenges and fears among Afghans," the official said, adding that the Taliban was coming up with a strategy to prevent similar attacks.
The site of the explosion was the biggest Shiite mosque in the city of Kandahar, where Friday services are usually attended by large crowds.
Murtaza, who, like many Afghans, goes by one name, told the Associated Press that he witnessed four suicide bombers attack the mosque. He said that he saw two of the attackers detonate their bombs by the mosque's security gate, and two others enter the site to strike worshippers.
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