14 dead as blasts rock Mazar-i-Sharif, Kunduz city


PM strongly condemns mosque explosion

At least 14 people were killed by bomb blasts in Afghan cities on Thursday including 10 at a mosque in Mazar-i-Sharif, the second attack against a Shia target this week.

The number of bombings in Afghanistan has dwindled since the Taliban returned to power in August, but the militant Islamic State group has claimed several since then.

The group also claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif. Grisly images of victims being carried to the hospital from Seh Dokan mosque were posted on social media.

The images, which could not be independently verified, showed a scene littered with broken glass.

“There are at least 25 casualties,” Zabihullah Noorani, head of Balkh province’s information and culture department, told AFP. A police official said 10 people were killed, and 15 wounded. Separately, at least four people were killed and 18 wounded by a blast in Kunduz city.

Provincial police spokesman Obaidullah Abedi told AFP it was caused by a bicycle bomb targeting a vehicle carrying mechanics working for a military unit.

Afghanistan’s Shia Hazara community, which makes up between 10 and 20 per cent of the country’s 38 million people, has long been the target of attacks — some blamed on the Taliban and others on IS.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday strongly condemned the bomb blast which took place at a mosque in Mazar-i-Sharif city of Afghanistan. The prime minister expressed condolence over the loss of lives and prayed for peace of the departed souls and early recovery of the injured. He said that Pakistan always desired peace in Afghanistan. —Agencies


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