“A bomb blast rocked a gathering of civilians near the entrance of the Eidgah Mosque in Kabul this afternoon, leaving a number of civilians dead,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid wrote as part of a series of tweets.
Taliban fighters weren’t harmed in the attack, Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi told The Associated Press. Those killed in the attack were civilians standing outside the mosque gate. He didn’t provide a figure for the number killed and said an investigation was underway.
An Italian-funded emergency hospital in Kabul said on Twitter that it had received four people wounded in the blast.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing. However, after the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August, reports have emerged that numerous ISIS terrorist group members were released from prisons across the country, while ISIS claimed responsibility for a bomb attack that left 13 U.S. service members dead in late August amid a chaotic and rushed evacuation at Kabul’s main airport.
One shopkeeper who was near the site of the attack, who only gave his name as Abdullah, told the AFP news agency, “I heard the sound of an explosion near the Eid Gah Mosque followed by gun firing.”
It was the deadliest attack in the Afghan capital since U.S. forces left at the end of August.
On Oct. 1, Taliban fighters raided an ISIS hideout just north of Kabul in Parwan Province. The raid came after a roadside bomb wounded four Taliban fighters in the area.
The release of ISIS members during the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan has raised questions about whether a conflict between the group and the Taliban, also a terrorist organization, could erupt. ISIS and the Taliban have been enemies for years.
About 100 American citizens and permanent residents are still stuck in Afghanistan, senior White House officials said last week.
“The biggest constraint to the departure of our citizens and others from Afghanistan, of course, remains the Taliban’s unpredictability regarding who is permitted to depart,” a State Department official said, according to a statement. “The second big constraint is the absence of regular commercial air service to enable folks who wish to depart to do so in a predictable manner.”
The comment came as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley faced questioning from lawmakers last week over the chaotic withdrawal.
“My judgment remains that extending beyond the end of August would have greatly imperiled our people and our mission,” Austin said in front of a congressional panel last week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.