Suicide bombers attacked two mosques in Afghanistan on Friday, killing at least 72 people including children, officials and witnesses said.
One bomber walked into a Shi’ites mosque in the capital Kabul as people were praying and detonated an explosive, one of the worshippers there, Mahmood Shah Husaini, said.
In Kabul, a suicide bomber killed at least 39 people and injured 45 more when he detonated his explosives among some 100 worshippers in the Imam Zaman mosque in the city’s western Dasht-e-Barchi district, according to the interior ministry. Some of the victims were reportedly shot after the blast on Friday evening.
In central Ghor province, a suicide bomber killed 33 worshippers in a Sunni mosque, purportedly targeting a local commander from the anti-Taliban Jamiat party, said police spokesman Mohammad Iqbal Nizami.
The attack appeared to target a local leader from the Jamiat political party, according to a statement from Balkh provincial governor Atta Mohammad Noor, a leading figure in Jamiat.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either attack.
The attacks came in a deadly week for Afghans, in which nearly 200 people have been killed, the majority civilians. After 74 people died on Tuesday in a wave of Taliban attacks across the country, 43 soldiers were killed by bomb-strapped Humvees in a pre-dawn attack in Kandahar on Thursday.
The violence comes as the US president, Donald Trump, seeks to escalate the American war in Afghanistan, and as the US ramps up drone strikes against militants in tribal areas on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border.
“I entered the mosque after the attack when there were only dead bodies left. I didn’t count,” said Nasim Ibrahimi, a female worshipper at Imam Zaman mosque.
“I saw a father bringing the body of his 14- or 15-year-old son out of the mosque. I went to the hospital where I saw the dead body of a seven-year-old boy.”—Agencies