Nazyan district, in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan
Nazyan district, in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD - Authorities in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province say a powerful bomb explosion during a mosque prayer service killed at least four people and wounded dozens more.

A provincial government spokesman, Attaullah Khogyani, told VOA the prayer leader at the Rodat district mosque was among the dead. The toll is expected to rise because many people are seriously wounded, he added.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the deadly bombing on Friday in Nangarhar, which borders Pakistan. Militants from the Islamic State group and Taliban fugitives from Pakistan both have bases in the area.

Another abduction in Kabul

Meanwhile, a spokesman for for the Afghan Interior Ministry, Sediq Seddiqi, confirmed to VOA that an Indian woman working for an international aid group has been abducted in Kabul.

Judith D'Souza, 40, who works for the Aga Khan Foundation, was last seen on Thursday, according to her relatives in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata.

Media reports in India say both Afghan and Indian authorities are trying to secure her release.

The Aga Khan Foundation, part of the Aga Khan Development Network, has channeled hundreds of millions of dollars into Afghan reconstruction projects. The organization said it is making every possible effort to free D'Souza, but gave no other details.

Abductions, hostage-taking and summary executions carried out by both militants and criminal networks in Afghanistan have become a major worry for the authorities.

During this month alone, Taliban insurgents have carried out at least three mass kidnappings in northern Afghanistan.