27 Killed in Attack Targeting Shiite Mosque in Kabul
2016-11-23 - 1:36 am
Bahrain Mirror: A massive suicide blast at a Shiite mosque in Kabul killed at least 27 people Monday and wounded 64 as worshippers gathered for the religious ceremony of Arbaeen Imam Hussein (PBUH), officials said.
The attacker was mingling with worshippers inside the Baqirul Olum mosque in the west of the city when he detonated the bomb, said senior police official Fridon Obaidi.
"I heard a blast and dust covered the whole mosque," said worshipper Nadir Ali. "When the dust settled down, I saw the mosque was full of flesh and blood. I was injured in my waist and had to crawl out of the mosque."
The Taliban, who are waging a bloody war to topple the US-backed Afghan government, said they were not involved in Monday's attack.
Another worshipper, Ali Jan, told AFP, "I was in the mosque, the people were offering prayers. Suddenly I heard a bang and windows broke. I had no idea what had happened. I rushed out screaming."
The death toll given by Obaidi was confirmed by health ministry spokesman Mohammad Ismail Kawoosi, who said Monday evening the wounded toll had jumped from 35 to 64. Women and children were among the injured.
The worshippers were gathering for the major Shiite ceremony of Arbaeen marking the end of a 40-day mourning period after Ashura, which commemorates the death of Imam Hussein.
During the commemoration of Ashura last month, on October 13, a powerful blast targeting Shiites more than 30 and wounded around 100 in Kabul and Mazan Sherif, North Afghanistan's biggest cities.
This is the third time Shiites are targeted in Kabul after the July 23 attack on the Shiite Hazaras minority in Kabul, killing at least 85 and wounding more than 400 others. ISIS claimed responsibility of this double attack that took place in the midst of crowds.
President Ashraf Ghani said in a statement he strongly condemned the "barbaric" attack, which the UN called an "atrocity", and criticized attempts to create conflict among the Afghani people.
Amnesty International on its part dubbed the attack "horrific and deliberate" and urged the Afghan government to protect minorities.
Mosques in Kabul generally do not have any security -- though police patrols can be seen near some on Fridays -- and some eyewitnesses criticized the government over the lack of protection.
"They know that Daesh (IS), who is able to conduct attacks in Europe, can reach places in Afghanistan easily. They should provide security to sacred places," said one man who gave his name as Rahmat.
comments powered by Disqus