Gunmen attack mosque in E Afghanistan, fatally shoot 3 worshippers
At least three civilians have been shot and killed by unknown gunmen inside a mosque in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Paktia on a day of national mourning in the war-torn country in honor of terror victims.
The Afghan Interior Ministry announced in a Saturday statement that the armed assault took place Friday night in the provincial capital of Gardez, also injuring nine more individuals.
The statement further censured the bloodshed as an act against Islam and humanity, pointing out that the victims came under attack while praying.
The attack come as Afghanistan is observing the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
While no group has yet claimed responsibility for the deadly attack, Taliban and Haqqani militants are highly suspected of involvement since both remain active in Paktia and surrounding provinces.
Both groups have frequently staged armed attacks on government authorities and the country’s military forces as well as the US-led foreign troops remaining in the terror-ravaged nation.
Saturday has been declared a national day of mourning by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in memory of the victims of the recent deadly attacks in Kabul, Khost and Heart provinces.
He had called on Afghan people to attend prayer ceremonies inside mosques to honor the terror victims.
The deadliest of the attacks hit the heart of Kabul last week, claiming the lives of at least 150 people and wounding more than 450.
Afghanistan has been gripped by insecurity since the US-led military forces invaded the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror in 2001. Many parts of the country, however, remain plagued by militancy and terrorism despite continued presence of thousands of foreign troops.
During the past 16 years, the Taliban militants have been conducting terrorist attacks across the country, killing and displacing tens of thousands of civilians.
In addition, the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, which is mainly active in Syria and Iraq, has recently managed to take recruits from Afghan Taliban defectors.