62 worshippers die in bomb blasts in mosque in eastern Afghanistan

At least 62 worshippers have been killed and more than 100 injured in bomb explosions at a mosque in eastern Afghanistan during Friday prayers.

The spokesman for Nangarhar’s provincial governor, Attaullah Khogyani, said there were multiple blasts from explosives placed inside the mosque in the Jawdara area of Haska Mena district, around 50 kilometers from the provincial capital Jalalabad.

He added that the roof of the mosque had completely caved in.

“The number of casualties may rise as the rescue team and people are working to bring out the bodies from the rubble,” said Sohrab Qaderi, a member of the provincial council in Nangarhar.

Malik Mohammadi Gul Shinwari, a tribal elder from the area, also said the mosque had completely collapsed. “It was a heartbreaking scene I witnessed with my eyes.”

Tezab Khan, a member of the local police who was on duty in the area, said, “When I arrived on the scene, people were trying to bring out the bodies and injured who were stuck under the fallen roof.”

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the terrorist attack.

Jalalabad is the scene of frequent acts of terror by the Taliban and the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, which has carried out a string of bombings targeting government offices, schools, and aid groups over the past few months.

The United Nations said on Thursday that an “unprecedented” number of civilians were killed or injured in the third quarter of 2019 across Afghanistan, calling the violence “totally unacceptable.” 

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UN decries ‘unprecedented’ Afghan civilian casualtiesThe United Nations says an “unprecedented” number of civilians were killed or wounded in Afghanistan from July to September.

Iran condemns ‘brutal’ act of terror 

Later on Friday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi condemned the “brutal” terrorist attack.

“This act of terror and targeting defenseless worshippers who were saying their Friday prayers… shows the nasty nature and vicious goals of terrorists to sow discord among Muslim people of Afghanistan and add fuel to the fire of instability in this Muslim neighboring country,” Mousavi said.

The Iranian spokesman offered condolences to the Afghan government and people, particularly the bereaved.

In a new report, the United Nations said 1,174 people were killed and another 3,139 wounded from July to September this year.

The report, which also charts violence throughout 2019 so far, shows how “Afghans have been exposed to extreme levels of violence for many years” despite promises by all sides to “prevent and mitigate harm to civilians.”

Eastern and northern Afghanistan have witnessed an expansion of the presence of Daesh terrorists in recent years. The notorious group has been mostly populating Nangarhar, from where it has planned attacks on major population centers across the country.

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Ten people, including a child, were killed in a bomb attack targeting a bus transporting army recruits in Nangarhar earlier in October.

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