Deadly bomb explodes at mosque near Afghanistan’s interior ministry

A suicide bomber attacked a Taliban power center on Wednesday, setting off an explosion at a government ministry in the Afghan capital, Kabul. At least four people were killed, a Taliban official said.

The afternoon blast occurred as workers and visitors were praying inside a mosque run by Afghanistan’s interior ministry, which is responsible for security and law enforcement in the country. The ministry is located on the main road of Kabul next to the Kabul International Airport and is housed in its own fortified compound.

A spokesman for the Taliban-appointed ministry, Abdul Nafi Takor, said in a tweet: “Unfortunately this afternoon at around 1:30pm, an explosion occurred in a sub-basement at the Ministry of Interior, resulting in the loss of four worshippers. their life. and 25 others were injured. The incident is under investigation, we will share the details with the media when they are.”

He said earlier that the blast occurred while ministry employees and visitors were praying.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the blast, but the Islamic State group in Afghanistan, the Taliban’s main rival, has been waging a campaign of violence against the Taliban and the Shia minority that has intensified since the Taliban took power. Taliban in August 2021.

The attack on a government building inside a fortified compound is a major blow to the Taliban, who have been trying to limit threats to their rule and project an image of legitimacy, control and strength since taking power.

The Emergency Hospital in Kabul said it began receiving patients around 2pm with injuries and burns, but that there were initially no reports of an attack or explosion. The group tweeted that it was the second mass casualty event handled by the hospital in recent days and 23 of the year.

On Twitterthe Emergency Hospital released a video of an injured person on top of a garage.

“A few minutes later, the number of injured people arriving increased and they reported seeing a man detonate a device,” said Emergency Country Deputy Director Dejan Panic. “It was a suicide attack.”

Panic said the hospital received 20 injured, all male adults. Of these, 16 were admitted and two were dead on arrival. The number could rise, he said: “Surgeries are operating and we have activated mass casualty procedures.”

The explosion at the mosque follows last week suicide bombing at an educational center in Kabul that killed as many as 52 people, according to an Associated Press count, more than double the death toll that Taliban officials have admitted.

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