Afghanistan: Several people killed by bomb attack near a Kabul mosque

·2 min read
A man standing outside Eid Gah mosque
Eid Gah mosque is the second largest in Kabul

Several people have been killed by a bombing at a mosque in the Afghan capital Kabul, the Taliban have said.

Twenty were also injured by the blast near Eid Gah mosque, where a prayer ceremony was being held for the late mother of a Taliban spokesman.

It is the first major explosion in Kabul since Western forces withdrew in August.

Hours later, the Taliban launched attacks on suspected Islamic State militant hideouts.

Three suspected IS militants are said to have been killed in the Taliban operation. However, these reports have not been verified.

So far no group has said it is behind the attack, but IS recently said it carried out several bombings in the eastern city of Jalalabad.

The Islamist group is violently opposed to the Taliban, which regained nearly full control of Afghanistan in a lightning offensive as international forces started to leave.

Taliban leaders are under pressure from the international community to renounce ties with IS and al-Qaeda, and they have continually denied that militants from either group operate in the country.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid speaks during a news conference in Kabul
Zabihullah Mujahid has become one of the Taliban's most recognisable faces as the group's spokesman

While the attack happened outside the mosque, it is unclear if it was directly targeting the ceremony, which was for the late mother of Taliban official, Zabihullah Mujahid.

Mr Mujahid has become one of the group's most public faces as its spokesman

For years, he had operated in the shadows - only speaking to reporters over the phone. But since the Taliban takeover he has addressed the media at several public news conferences.

You might also be interested in:

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting