Death toll in Kabul Shiite mosque attack jumps to 56 – officials


KABUL: The death toll in the Shiite mosque attack in Kabul has jumped to 56, officials said on Saturday, as the Afghan capital reels from the latest deadly violence.

“The toll from yesterday’s Imam Zaman mosque attack has increased to 56 killed, including women and children, and 55 wounded,” an interior ministry spokesman told Agence France-Presse.

Officials had previously put the number of dead at 39 and 45 wounded in the attack claimed by the Islamic State group, which belongs to the rival Sunni branch of Islam.

Afghan residents inspect the Imam Zaman Shiite mosque the day after a suicide attack during Friday evening prayers in Kabul on Saturday, October 21, 2017. AFP PHOTO

The lone suicide attacker struck as worshippers gathered for evening prayer on Friday at the mosque in a heavily Shiite neighborhood in the west of the city.

It was one of two deadly mosque attacks in the country on Friday, capping one of the bloodiest weeks in Afghanistan in recent memory.

The second assault happened in the impoverished and remote province of Ghor where a suicide bomber blew himself up, killing 20 and wounding 10 others, the interior ministry said.

People expressed anger at the government’s inability to protect its citizens in the Afghan capital, which accounted for nearly 20 percent of the country’s civilian deaths in the first half of the year. AFP




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