October 18, 2019
At least 17 people were killed and dozens wounded in a blast inside an Afghan mosque during Friday prayers, officials said, a day after the United Nations said violence in the country had reached “unacceptable” levels.
The explosion took place in Haska Mina district of eastern Nangarhar province, and wounded at least 40 people, provincial police spokesman Mubarez Attal told AFP.
The dead were “all worshippers”, he said.
Other officials gave higher tolls, with provincial governor spokesman Attaullah Khogyani saying at least 20 had been killed.
A doctor at a hospital in Haska Mina told AFP that “around” 32 bodies had been brought in, along with 50 wounded.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Both the Taliban and the militant Islamic State (IS) group are active in Nangarhar province.
The blast came after the United Nations released a new report on Thursday saying that an “unprecedented” number of civilians were killed or wounded in Afghanistan from July to September.
Civilians have long borne the brunt of violence in Afghanistan’s conflict, and the UN called the casualties “totally unacceptable”.
The UN laid the blame mainly at the feet of anti-government elements such as the IS group and the Taliban, though it also documented an alarming rise in casualties caused by pro-government forces.