Imam among 12 worshippers killed in Afghan mosque blast


KABUL – At least 12 people including prayer leader were killed after a blast inside a mosque during Friday prayers in Afghan capital, said media reports.

According to Afghanistan police, the blast happened at Haji Bakhshi Mosque in Qala-e-Murad Bek area in Shakardara district.

The explosive material was planted inside the mosque, that claimed lives of mosque Imam Mufti Numan and others, besides leaving several others injured.

No group so far has claimed responsibility for the blast.

The explosion comes a day after at least nine people were killed when two blasts rocked Kunduz and Kandahar provinces.

The violence happens at a time that the Afghan forces and the Taliban have announced a three-day ceasefire during Eid-al-Fitr.

The ceasefire announcement comes as the United States continues to pull out its last 2,500 troops from the violence-wracked country despite faltering efforts between the Taliban and Afghan government to end a decades-long war.

“Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate are instructed to halt all offensive operations against the enemy countrywide from the first till the third day of Eid,” a statement released by the Taliban said.

“But if the enemy conducts any assault or attack against you during these days, stand ready to robustly protect and defend yourselves and your territory,” it added.

Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, and the holiday begins according to the sighting of the new moon. The Taliban declared similar ceasefires last year to mark Islamic holidays.

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