Taliban authorities pledged to step up security at Shia mosques after the second Daesh attack in a week on worshippers killed more than 40 people in the Afghan city of Kandahar on Friday.
Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack on the Fatima mosque in Kandahar which saw a group of suicide bombers shoot their way into the mosque before blowing themselves up among the worshippers.
A health official said the casualty toll from the attack stood at 41 dead and 70 wounded but the toll could still rise further.
“Some of the wounded are in a critical condition and we are trying to transfer them to Kabul,” he said.
The head of Kandahar police said units would be assigned to protect the Shia mosques which have so far been guarded by local volunteer forces with special permission to carry weapons.
“Unfortunately they could not protect this area and in future we will assign special security guards for the protection of mosques and Madrasas,” he said in a statement posted on Twitter by a Taliban spokesman.
Meanwhile, the militant Islamic State group on Saturday claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack on a Shia mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar that killed at least 41 people and injured scores more.
In a statement released on its Telegram channels, the group said two Islamic State suicide bombers carried out separate attacks on different parts of the mosque in Kandahar.
The group, a bitter rival of the Taliban, which swept back to power in Afghanistan in August as the United States and its allies withdrew, regards Shia Muslims as heretics. —Reuters/ AFP