Gardez: At least 35 people were killed and more than 70 others wounded after two explosions ripped through a Shia mosque in Afghanistan’s Gardez city on Friday, report said.
The blasts took place at 1.30 pm when people were offering Friday prayers inside Imam-e-Zaman Mosque in Police District 2. Gardez is the capital of eastern province of Paktia, a police officer said.
Two gunmen opened fire
Two gunmen entered the mosque, opening fire on worshippers before detonating the explosives. The mosque building was severely damaged by the blasts. The bombers also used hand grenades during the attack, Paktia police chief said.
Death toll likely to go up
Walayat Ahmadzai, head of provincial health department, confirmed the toll. “Several wounded people were shifted to a military hospital in Afghan Army’s Corps 203 Thander for intensive treatment as the government-run hospitals were not able to provide treatment for all the victims,” Ahmadzai said. Ahmadzai warned that the toll may go up. -Agencies
600 people were in the mosque
At least 600 people were inside the mosque at the time of strike, reports said. Security forces cordoned off the area in Khowja Hassan neighbourhood mostly dominated by Shia Afghans. No group claimed responsibility for the attack. President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack, calling it ‘inhuman’.
Waves of terror attacks against Shia mosques
Over the past few months, Afghanistan has witnessed waves of terror attacks against Shia mosques mostly claimed by the extremist Islamic State outfit. In late March, one civilian was killed and nine others wounded after two IS gunmen attacked a Shia mosque in western Herat province.