At least 11 people lost their lives while many others were left wounded after a massive explosion took place at a Shi’ite mosque in northern Afghanistan’s Mazar-e-Sharif on Thursday, said a local health official.
“A blast happened in 2nd district inside a Shi’ite mosque, more than 20 killed and injured,” Mohammad Asif Wazeri, Taliban spokesperson in Mazar-e-Sharif, told Reuters.
However, what caused the explosion is not clear yet as no terror group has claimed the responsibility for the blast. Meanwhile, this is second blast of the day that took place in Afghanistan.
Giving details about the blast, a woman said said she was shopping with her sister in a nearby market when she heard a large explosion and saw smoke rising from the area around the mosque. “The glass of the shops was broken and it was very crowded and everyone started to run,” Reuters quoted the woman as saying.
Earlier in the day, two children were injured in a roadside bomb in the capital city of Kabul. Kabul police spokesman Khalid Zadran said the blast took place in the median strip of a road in a western area of Kabul in a mostly Shiite neighborhood.
The Shi’ite community, a religious minority in the war-ravaged country, has been frequently targeted in Afghanistan since the Taliban came to power in August last year. Two days ago, at least 11 people, mostly children, and 17 others were wounded in multiple explosions in educational institutions predominantly Shi’ite Hazara area in western Kabul.
The Taliban have said that they have secured the country since taking power in August, but international officials and analysts say the risk of a resurgence in militancy remains and the Islamic State militant group has claimed several attacks.