Many casualties feared in Kabul mosque blast

A huge explosion has ripped through a mosque in the Afghan capital Kabul, police say.

The blast is thought to have occurred during evening prayers, with many casualties feared, though figures are not yet known.

Khalid Zadran, the Taliban’s Kabul police spokesman, was quoted by local media as saying there had been an explosion in the city’s northwest.

Reports say the Siddiqi mosque’s imam was among the dead.

It is unclear who was behind the attack, which comes the week after a prominent pro-Taliban cleric was killed in a suicide bomb blast, also in Kabul. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the earlier attack.

Security forces have arrived at the scene, in a northern Kabul neighbourhood, the spokesman added, while Kabul’s Emergency Hospital tweeted to say it had received 27 people wounded in the blast.

“Five children [were] among them, including a seven-year-old,” it said.

A Taliban intelligence official told news agency Reuters that as many as 35 people may have been wounded or killed, and the toll could rise further.

Witnesses described hearing a powerful explosion which shattered windows in nearby buildings.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the explosion took place at a mosque among worshippers in the Khair Khana area of Kabul.

Intelligence teams were at the blast site and investigations are ongoing, they added.

A spokesman for the Taliban said it strongly condemned the attack.

  

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