Three dead and 15 wounded in bomb attack on mosque in east Afghanistan

There has been an increase in attacks on mosques during Friday prayers

At least three people were killed and 15 wounded by a blast in a mosque in Afghanistan's tense Nangarhar province on Friday, a hospital official said.

The blast was the latest of several recent attacks on mosques during Friday prayers.

A Taliban spokesman confirmed the blast in Spin Ghar district in eastern Afghanistan, a hotbed of ISIS group activity since the Taliban seized power in the country in August.

“I can confirm a blast during Friday prayers inside a mosque in Spin Ghar district. There are casualties and fatalities,” a Taliban official told AFP.

Atal Shinwari, a resident of the area, said the blast occurred about 1.30pm when explosives apparently planted inside the mosque in Traili detonated.

Photos taken by a resident and circulating in social media showed three dead bodies, and the mosque’s interior strewn with rubble and broken glass.

More than 120 people were killed in ISIS attacks this year on two mosques popular with the ethnic minority Hazara community.

“So far three killed, 15 wounded,” a doctor at the local hospital told AFP.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the latest to undermine the Taliban claim that they have restored security after decades of war.

The mosque was attended by Sunnis. Previous attacks since the Taliban takeover have struck Shiite mosques and have been claimed by ISIS.

On Wednesday, a spokesman for the Taliban intelligence service told reporters in Kabul that the agency has arrested close to 600 ISIS members, including key figures and financial supporters. The spokesman, Khalil Hamraz, said at least 33 ISIS members have been killed in gun battles with Taliban security forces.

Updated: November 12th 2021, 1:24 PM