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Suicide Bombers Attack Shi'ite Mosque in Afghanistan

  • Ayaz Gul

Afghan policemen and relatives inspect at the site of a suicide attack in Herat, Afghanistan, Aug. 1, 2017.

At least two heavily armed suicide bombers have attacked a Shi'ite Muslim mosque in western Afghanistan, killing at least 29 worshippers and wounding 40 others.

The assault took place Tuesday night in the city of Herat, bordering Iran.

Doctors confirmed the death toll to VOA and said they expected it to increase.

Afghan media quoted local officials and witnesses as saying the incident began with one assailant blowing himself up outside the mosque, while another stormed the building and opened fire.

An Interior Ministry spokesman confirmed the attack occurred, but did not provide further details.

Residents say at least 1,000 people were inside the mosque attending a special religious ceremony.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility.

Islamic State has claimed previous attacks on Shi'ite places of worship and rallies in Afghanistan. Tuesday's suicide attack came a day after four suicide bombers stormed Iraq's embassy in Kabul.

IS took credit for plotting Monday's violence that Afghan officials said wounded six people.

The nearly four-hour-long siege ended after Afghan forces gunned down three attackers. A fourth one blew himself up at the start of the raid.

The Iraqi ambassador, along with other diplomatic staff, also were safely rescued.

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