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Bomb Blast Kills at Least 5 Outside Kabul Mosque


Taliban fighters walk at the entrance of the Eidgah Mosque after an explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan, Oct. 3, 2021.

A bomb blast outside Kabul’s main mosque Sunday afternoon killed at least five Afghan civilians and injured at least four more, said Qari Saeed Khosti, the spokesman of the Taliban Interior Ministry.

It was the first such assault in the capital since late August, when an Islamic State-Khorasan Province suicide bomber killed around 200 people, including 13 U.S. servicemembers, near the Kabul airport.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Sunday’s assault on the Eid Gah Mosque in the center of the city, and it was apparently targeted at a gathering offering special prayers for chief Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid’s mother, who recently passed away.

Qatar-based Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said Mujahid was safe, along with other colleagues, because the blast happened away from where they were located.

Hamidullah, a member of the Taliban, said he was three meters from the suicide bomber, in the mosque at the time of the blast.

"I was thrown back from the force of the blast," he told journalists outside Kabul's Emergency Hospital where some of the victims were treated.

IS Khorasan, the Afghanistan-based affiliate of the Islamic State extremist group, also known as ISIS-K, has claimed a series of attacks in the country’s eastern provinces of Nangarhar and Kunar in the last week, killing dozens of civilians and Taliban fighters.

Bilal Karimi, a Taliban spokesman, said three suspects were arrested and that no Taliban fighters were harmed.

Ayaz Gul contributed to this report, which also includes information from the Associated Press.