Blast Kills Cleric, 20 Others During Evening Prayers

Witnesses say suicide bomber attacked Kabul mosque
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 18, 2022 4:10 AM CDT
Prominent Cleric Among 21 Killed in Kabul Mosque Bombing
Mourners carry the body of a victim of a mosque bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 18. 2022.   (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

(Newser) – A bombing at a mosque in the Afghan capital of Kabul during evening prayers killed at least 21 people, including a prominent cleric, and wounded at least 33 others, eyewitnesses and police said Thursday. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack Wednesday night, the latest to strike the country in the year since the Taliban seized power. Several children were reported to be among the wounded.The Islamic State group’s local affiliate has stepped up attacks targeting the Taliban and civilians since the former insurgents’ takeover last August as US and NATO troops were in the final stages of their withdrawal from the country.

Last week, the extremists claimed responsibility for killing a prominent Taliban cleric at his religious center in Kabul. Khalid Zadran, the spokesman for Kabul's Taliban police chief, gave the figures to the AP for the bombing at the Siddiquiya mosque in the city’s Kher Khanna neighborhood. An eyewitness told the AP the explosion was carried out by a suicide bomber. The slain cleric was Mullah Amir Mohammad Kabuli, the eyewitness said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid condemned the explosion and vowed that the “perpetrators of such crimes will soon be brought to justice and will be punished."

(Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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