“We are saddened to learn that an explosion took place in a mosque of the Shiite Brotherhood in the first district of Kandahar city in which a number of our compatriots were martyred and wounded,” Taliban spokesman Sayed Khosti said on Twitter.
Information from eyewitnesses in Kandahar that was obtained by Reuters described the attackers as three suicide bombers, one of whom blew himself up at the entrance to the mosque with the two others detonating their devices inside the building.
An Afghan health official gave figures of 33 dead and 73 wounded, but the official also noted that the final death and injury count could be higher.
“We are overwhelmed,” a doctor at the city’s central Mirwais hospital told news agency AFP. “There are too many dead bodies and wounded people brought to our hospital. We are expecting more to come. We are in urgent need of blood. We have asked all the local media in Kandahar to ask people to come and donate blood.”
Khosti said that Taliban special forces have moved to the area and are investigating “the nature of the incident” and pledged that the perpetrators will be brought to justice.
Photographs and mobile phone footage posted by journalists on social media showed many people apparently dead or seriously wounded on the bloody floor of the Imam Bargah mosque.
Unlike the Oct. 8 attack, which was claimed by Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-K), there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the Oct. 15 bomb attack.
ISIS has declared war on Afghanistan’s minority Shiites and has taken responsibility for some of the worst attacks targeting the community, including attacks on their mosques in Kabul and the western province of Herat.
The attack was the second mass casualty incident targeting worshippers in one week.
It came seven days after another large explosion at a mosque in the city of Kunduz on Oct. 8 killed dozens of people and wounded at least 100 during prayers. The death toll from that attack has been estimated as high as 80, though no official number has been released yet.
Reuters contributed to this report.
From NTD News