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Afghanistan: Death toll up to 80 in suicide attacks

22nd Oct 2017
Afghanistan: Death toll up to 80 in suicide attacks

By Shadi Khan Saif

 

KABUL, Afghanistan (AA): The death toll from Friday’s suicide attacks in two different mosques in Afghanistan has increased to 84, officials said Saturday. Over 50 people have been injured.

Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish confirmed that the attack at a Shia Muslim mosque in capital Kabul was a suicide attack.

Daiul Haq Abid, spokesman for the Ministry of Haj and Religious Affairs, said that the death toll at the Imam Zaman Mosque rose to 54.

The number of casualties from another suicide attack on a Sunni Muslim mosque in the central Ghor province also went up to 30, Afghan officials said.

The attack in Ghor targeted a pro-government commander, Fazal Ahmad, said Abdul Hai Khatibi, spokesman for the provincial governor.

The Daesh terror group claimed responsibility for the Kabul attack in a statement posted on its Amaq website.

This August, a similar attack in the same mosque claimed by pro-Daesh militants had killed 50 people.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack in Ghor.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani condemned both attacks, calling them crimes against humanity.

“The terrorists have tarnished the image of Islam for their evil targets and do not believe in any of its values,” Ghani said in a statement.

Meanwhile, a number of parliamentarians criticized the U.S. for not doing enough to prevent the surge of terrorist attacks in the country despite their large-scale resources.

Abdul Sattar Khawasi said that the U.S. signed the Bilateral Security Agreement with Afghanistan just to secure its geo-strategic objectives in the region rather than honestly pledging to help bring peace.

Friday’s attack on the mosques have been widely condemned. The UN Secretary-General Special Representative for Afghanistan, Tadamachi Yamamoto said: “These brutal and senseless attacks against people at prayer are atrocities.”

Pakistan, in a statement from its Foreign Office, said: “We convey our heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and pray for early recovery of the injured.”
In total, 84 civilians have been killed and 194 injured in attacks directed against the Shia population in Afghanistan in the first nine months of the year, according to a report by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

* Islamuddin Sajid contributed to this story from Islamabad

 

[Archive Photo: Bomb attack car park of mosque in Herat, Afghanistan on  6 June 2017. Photographer: Ali Ahmed Folady/AA]

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