At least 62 killed in Shia mosque blast in Kandahar (+VIDEO)

TEHRAN, Oct. 15 (MNA) – At least 62 people have been killed and 68 others wounded after an explosion went off inside a Shia mosque in Afghanistan’s southern city of Kandahar, according to public health officials in the province.

At least 62 people have been killed and 68 wounded in a suicide attack at a mosque in the Afghan city of Kandahar, the Times reported.

The blast ripped through the city’s largest Shia mosque, known as Bibi Fatima Mosque or Imam Bargah Mosque, at about 1.30 p.m., its busiest time.

Videos from inside the mosque show bodies lying on the ground surrounded by bloodied debris and shattered glass, as distraught onlookers tried to help the wounded.

 At least 62 killed in Shia mosque blast in Kandahar (+VIDEO)

An eyewitness told the AFP news agency he heard three blasts, one at the main door of the mosque, another at a southern area, and a third where worshippers wash themselves, Al-Jazeera reported.

Murtaza, another eyewitness who like many Afghans goes by one name, told The Associated Press news agency that four suicide bombers attacked the mosque.

Two detonated their payloads at a security gate, allowing the other two to run inside and strike the congregation of worshippers.

Speaking to The Associated Press by phone, he said Friday prayers were typically attended by about 500 people.

Hospital sources told Al-Jazeera they were inundated with patients, and that based on the number of increasing intakes, they feared a high casualty toll.

Photographs posted by journalists on social media showed many people apparently dead or seriously wounded on the bloody floor of the mosque.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

"We are saddened to learn that an explosion took place in a mosque of the Shia brotherhood in the first district of Kandahar city in which a number of our compatriots were martyred and wounded. Special forces of the Islamic Emirate have arrived in the area to determine the nature of the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice," Taliban official Qari Sayed Khosti wrote in a tweet.

The blast came a week after an explosion at another Shia mosque in Afghanistan's province of Kunduz. At least 46 people were killed and 143 others injured in the blast; ISIL claimed responsibility.

ZZ/
 

News Code 179720

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