At least 20 killed in explosion inside Shiite mosque

02 August, 2017, 00:29 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • Afghanistan: 20 Killed, 30 Injured in a Deadly Explosion in Shia Mosque in Herat

A police spokesman, Abdulhai Walizada, told Reuters one of the attackers was a suicide bomber who detonated explosives while another lobbed grenades at worshippers at the mosque.

He said around 30 people had been injured and casualty numbers were likely to rise. "They are both dead", he added.

He reported seeing a body torn to pieces at the entrance, possibly that of the attacker, while others were lying in pools of blood inside, some still crying and moving.

More than 1700 civilians have been killed in attacks in Afghanistan so far this year, hitting confidence in the Western-backed government of President Ashraf Ghani.

The attack there comes one day after a battle at the Iraqi embassy in the capital, Kabul, which also saw gunmen launch an assault following a suicide explosion.

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Shiites Muslims are a minority in Afghanistan and have been threatened by the Islamic State group that operates in the country's east.

IS has been expanding its footprint in eastern Afghanistan and has recently claimed responsibility for several devastating attacks in the capital.

In November 2016, a bomber blown himself up inside a Shiite mosque in Kabul, killing at least 27 people and wounding dozens of others.

It is believed the attack was a suicide bombing.

The interior ministry later confirmed that two people - a woman and a guard - had died and two were policemen injured.

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