ISLAMABAD - Suicide bombers struck two mosques in Afghanistan Friday, killing at least 72 people.
At a Shi’ite mosque in Afghanistan’s capital, at least 39 people died and at least 41 were injured. Women and children were among the victims.
“This is absolute barbarism,” said Ibrahim, a man who rushed to the mosque after the blast.
Security officials told VOA the bomber walked into the Imam Zaman Mosque Friday evening in the western Dashti Barch area of Kabul and blew himself up.
“It was one suicide bomber packed with explosives and hand grenades wrapped around his body,” an eyewitness told AFP.
A pro-Islamic State website reported its loyalists claimed responsibility for the Kabul attack. The Afghan branch of the Islamic State terrorist group has taken credit for recent bombings of Shi’ite worship places in Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan.
Second suicide attack
A second suicide Friday blast hit a Sunni mosque in the central Afghan province of Ghor, killing at least 33 worshipers, including one local leader who was the apparent target of the explosion.
A pro-government former Afghan jihadi commander was offering prayers along with his supporters when the bomber stormed the mosque. No one claimed responsibility for that attack.
Early Saturday, militants fired two rockets at NATO’s headquarters in downtown Kabul. There were no immediate reports of casualties in the incident that underlines the worsening security in the country.
Week of deadly attacks
Nearly 200 people, mostly security forces, have been killed in separate militant attacks across Afghanistan this week, making it one of the deadliest in recent months.
They include a Taliban bomb-and-gun attack in the province of Kandahar that killed at least 43 Afghan soldiers on Thursday. The insurgent assault almost wiped out the Afghan National Army base in the district of Maiwand.
On Tuesday, a twin suicide car bombing of the police headquarters in eastern Paktia province killed at least 60 people and wounded 300. The provincial police chief was among the dead.A separate attack the same day in the nearby Ghazni province left at least 20 people dead.