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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Seven killed by car bomb near Kabul mosque: ministry

A car packed with explosives blew up outside a mosque attended by Taliban members in the Afghan capital, killing at least seven people minutes after Friday prayers had ended, the interior ministry said.

The explosion occurred in front of Wazir Akbar Khan mosque, not far from the fortified former Green Zone that housed several embassies before the Taliban seized power in August last year.

The mosque is now often attended by senior Taliban commanders and fighters.

Interior ministry spokesman Abdul Nafy Takor told AFP that at least seven people had been killed and 41 others were wounded, including children.

“The explosion occurred when worshippers were heading home,” Takor said, adding the explosives were placed in a car.

Unverified images posted on social media showed a mangled car engulfed in fire on a road outside the mosque.

No group has so far claimed the attack.

In a tweet, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) called Friday’s bombing a “bitter reminder of ongoing insecurity and terrorist activity in Afghanistan”.

In 2020, a bomb ripped through the same mosque, killing its imam.

While overall violence has significantly dropped across Afghanistan since the war ended with the Taliban’s return to power, there have been regular bomb attacks in Kabul and other cities.

Several mosques and clerics have been targeted in these attacks, some claimed by the jihadist Islamic State group.

Two Russian embassy staff members were killed in a suicide bombing outside its offices earlier this month, the latest attack in the capital claimed by the group.


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