Taliban security stand guard at a checkpoint in Kabul, Afghanistan, 06 October 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/SAMIULLAH POPAL

Several injured in mosque explosion in northern Afghanistan

Kabul, Oct 13 (EFE).- Several casualties were reported on Saturday after an explosion at a mosque in Afghanistan’s northern Baghlan province, an official told EFE without specifying the number of people wounded or killed.

“Initial information shows that several persons were martyred and injured in the explosion,” Mawlawi Mustafa Hashimi, the director of the provincial department of information and culture, told EFE, adding that exact information about the casualties was unavailable so far.

The attack took place in a mosque in the city of Pol-e-Khomri in a Shia neighborhood, a local source told EFE on the condition of anonymity.

Afghan broadcaster Tolo aired images from inside the mosque, which showed the green walls covered with blood even as apparent victims lay on the carpets on the floor.

So far, no rebel group has claimed responsibility for the attack, although the Islamic State terror group has in the past claimed several attacks against places of worship since the Taliban seized power in August 2021.

The last major attack by the IS took place in June, when at least 11 people were killed and more than 30 injured in a bombing at a mosque in northeastern Afghanistan during the funeral of a high-ranking Taliban official.

The IS-Khorasan Province, the Afghan arm of the IS, has emerged as the main threat to the country’s stability in recent times, although the Taliban have denied that the armed group poses a significant security challenge.

In response to the attacks, Taliban security forces have launched operations in several areas of the country to dislodge the IS and fulfill their promise of providing security to the population that they had made ahead of seizing power, claiming that territories under their control were free of terrorism and crime. EFE