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Afghan mosque blast kills 18, together with senior cleric

HERAT, Afghanistan (AP) — An explosion tore by means of a crowded mosque in western Afghanistan on Friday, killing no less than 18 folks, together with a distinguished cleric, Taliban officers and an area medic stated. No less than 21 folks have been damage.

The blast went off within the Guzargah Mosque within the western metropolis of Herat throughout Friday midday prayers, the spotlight of the Muslim non secular week when locations of worship are notably crowded.

The explosion killed Mujib-ul Rahman Ansari, a distinguished cleric who was identified throughout Afghanistan for his criticism of the nation’s Western-backed governments over the previous 20 years. Ansari was seen as near the Taliban, who seized management over the nation a yr in the past as international forces withdrew.

His loss of life was confirmed by the chief Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid.

Ambulances transported 18 our bodies and 21 wounded folks from the blast to hospitals in Herat, stated Mohammad Daud Mohammadi, an official on the Herat ambulance heart,

There was no fast declare of duty for Friday’s blast.

Earlier mosque assaults have been claimed by the Islamic State extremist group, which has carried out a sequence of assaults in opposition to non secular and ethnic minorities in Afghanistan, in addition to Taliban targets.

The Herat mosque attracts followers of Sunni Islam, the dominant stream in Afghanistan that can be adopted by the Taliban.

Within the yr because the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, Islamic State attacked a number of mosques in suicide assaults throughout Friday prayers, with a give attention to concentrating on Shiite Muslims. Islamic State followers are additionally Sunnis and think about Shiites to be infidels.

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