Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Kabul attack: Isis claims responsibility for Shia mosque suicide bombing killing at least 30 in Afghan capital

Blast followed by second bombing targeting Shia mosque in Ghor 

Will Worley
Friday 20 October 2017 16:32 BST
Afghan security forces keep guard after a wave of violence across the country
Afghan security forces keep guard after a wave of violence across the country (EPA)

Scores of people have been killed in a day of violence in Afghanistan after suicide bombers detonated in two mosques in different parts of the country.

In the Shia Imam Zamam mosque in the capital, Kabul, an attacker walked into the building and detonated his explosives, killing at least 30 people and hurting 45, a security official said.

Isis claimed responsibility for the bombing in a statement that claimed it targeted "polytheists" - a derogatory term used by the group to refer to Shia Muslims.

Photos emerged on social media showing the aftermath of the blast, and the bodies of the dead were covered in rugs by bystanders.

Eyewitness Ali Mohammad said the mosque was packed with worshippers, both men and women praying on the holiest day of the Islamic week.

The explosion was so strong that it shattered windows on nearby buildings, he said.

Local residents who rushed to the scene to help the victims were overcome with anger and started chanting, "Death to Isis", a reference to the Islamic State group which has staged similar attacks on Shiite mosques in recent months.

Shortly afterwards, another blast hit a Sunni mosque in the Dolaina district of the northwestern Ghor province, killing at least 33 people.

The intended target is believed to have been a local warlord. The two bombings followed a wave of violence in the country.

On Thursday, at least 58 Afghan security forces personnel were killed across the country in a coordinated Taliban attack.

Army compounds and police stations were targeted and a base in Kandahar province was nearly overrun, according to officials.

The Kabul bombing is the latest in a round of violence which has been committed against the country's Shia minority.

A UN report, released this week, claimed at least 84 Shia Muslims have been killed and 194 wounded this year, as Sunni extremists have targeted their mosques and religious ceremonies.

Additional reporting by agencies

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in