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Seven killed by car bomb near Kabul mosque

Seven killed by car bomb near Kabul mosque

Taliban fighters investigate at a site after a blast near the Wazir Mohammad Akbar Khan Mosque that reportedly happened as people were leaving the mosque after Friday prayers at Wazir Akbar Khan in Kabul on Sep 23, 2022. (Photo: AFP)

KABUL: A car packed with explosives blew up outside a mosque attended by Taliban members in the Afghan capital, killing at least seven people minutes after Friday (Sep 23) prayers had ended, the interior ministry said.

The explosion occurred in front of Wazir Akbar Khan mosque, not far from the fortified former Green Zone that housed many foreign embassies and NATO before the Taliban seized power in August last year.

The mosque is now often attended by senior Taliban commanders and fighters.

Interior ministry spokesman Abdul Nafy Takor told AFP that at least seven people had been killed and 41 others were wounded, including children.

Italian-NGO run Emergency Hospital said it had received 14 people from the blast, of whom four were dead on arrival.

"The explosion occurred when worshippers were heading home," Takor said, adding the explosives were placed in a car.

"All casualties are civilians, the exact number is not clear yet," said Kabul police spokesman Khalid Zadran.

Unverified images posted on social media showed a mangled car engulfed in fire on a road outside the mosque.

No group has so far claimed the attack.

In a tweet, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) called Friday's bombing a "bitter reminder of ongoing insecurity and terrorist activity in Afghanistan".

The mosque has been the target of attacks in the past, including a blast in June 2020 before the Taliban returned to power. That attack killed the mosque's imam and wounded several people.

While overall violence has significantly dropped across Afghanistan since the war ended with the Taliban's return to power, there have been regular bomb attacks in Kabul and other cities.

Several mosques and clerics have been targeted in these attacks, some claimed by the Islamic State group.

Two Russian embassy staff members were killed in a suicide bombing outside its offices earlier this month, the latest attack in the capital claimed by the group.

Source: Agencies/st


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