Blasts in Afghanistan mosque kill at least 62, wound more than 100

Published October 18, 2019
Men carry an injured person to a hospital after bomb blasts at a mosque in Afghanistan.— Reuters
Men carry an injured person to a hospital after bomb blasts at a mosque in Afghanistan.— Reuters

Blasts in a mosque in eastern Afghanistan during Friday prayers killed at least 62 men who had gathered for worship, local officials said.

Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for Nangarhar province's governor, said there were multiple blasts from explosives placed inside the mosque in the Jawdara area of Haska Mena district.

The roof of the mosque had completely fallen in.

Sohrab Qaderi, a member of the provincial council in Nangarhar, while expecting a rise in the number of casualties, said that more than 100 others had been wounded.

Malik Mohammadi Gul Shinwari, a tribal elder from the area, said that the mosque had completely collapsed.

“It was a heartbreaking scene I witnessed with my eyes,” Shinwari said, adding that 32 bodies and scores of injured have been transported from the blast site.

Tezab Khan, a member of the local police who was on duty in the area, said: “I could hear the Mullah who was preaching and suddenly his voice was silenced with a boom. When I arrived on the scene, people were trying to bring out the bodies and injured who were stuck under the fallen roof.”

The Jawdara area is controlled by the Afghan security forces.

No militant group has claimed responsibility for the blasts so far. The Taliban and the militant Islamic State (IS) group fighters are actively operating in parts of Nangarhar that share a border with Pakistan in the east.

A United Nations report on civilian casualties recorded 4,313 civilians killed and wounded in the past three months.

Pakistan condemns bombing

Pakistan "strongly" condemned the bomb blasts in the mosque in Nangarhar, terming them a "mindless act of terrorism".

"We share the grief of the bereaved families and offer our deepest sympathies and condolences over their loss in this mindless act of terrorism," the Foreign Office said in a statement.

"Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stands in solidarity with the government and people of Afghanistan in their fight against terrorism," the press release added.


With additional reporting by Naveed Siddiqui in Islamabad.

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