Bomb attack on mosque and religious school in northern Afghanistan kills 33, Taliban say

An explosion at a mosque and religious school in Afghanistan’s northern Kunduz region during Friday prayers has killed at least 33 people, a Taliban official said April 22.

School students are among the dead, Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter.

“We condemn this crime…and express our deepest condolences to the bereaved,” he said, calling the perpetrators of the attack “seditionists and evil elements.”

The explosion, which also injured 43 other people, including many students, occurred in the town of Imam Saheb in Kunduz province, he said.

The United Nations called the attack “horrific”. Deputy Special Representative in Afghanistan Ramiz Alakbarov said on Twitter that “the killings must stop now and the perpetrators brought to justice”.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing, but Afghanistan’s affiliate Islamic State, Islamic State in Khorasan Province (IS-K), claimed responsibility for a series bombings on April 21, the worst of which was an attack on a Shia. mosque in northern Mazar-e-Sharif which killed at least 12 worshipers and injured 58.

The April 22 explosion happened as people gathered to pray in the mosque, according to eyewitnesses. Shortly after the mosque explosion, a large explosion occurred on a road in Kabul. No details were available on this latest explosion.

Recent bomb attacks in Kabul and other Afghan cities have killed dozens of people. IS-K also claimed a separate attack on April 21 in the town of Kunduz that killed four people and injured 18.

Taliban authorities said earlier on April 22 that they had arrested the “mastermind” of the Mazar-e-Sharif mosque bombing.

Zabihullah Noorani, head of the Information and Culture Department of Balkh province, identified the arrested person as Abdul Hamid Sangaryar.

IS-K said in an April 22 statement that the explosive device that devastated the Mazar-e-Sharif mosque was hidden in a bag left inside among dozens of worshippers. As they knelt in prayer, he exploded.

“When the mosque was filled with prayers, the explosives detonated from a distance,” the IS-K statement said.

IS-K had been relatively inactive in Afghanistan since the Taliban-led government’s intelligence unit carried out sweeping attacks on suspected IS-K hideouts in eastern Nangarhar province, but these In recent weeks, it has intensified its attacks in Afghanistan and neighboring regions. Pakistan.

With reporting from Reuters, AP and AFP

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