Many killed in blast at central Afghanistan religious gathering

At least 15 people have been killed and 20 others wounded, interior ministry says, adding that children may be among the victims.

Afghanistan Ghazni map

An explosion at a religious gathering in central Afghanistan has killed at least 15 civilians and wounded 20 others, the country’s interior ministry said, adding that children may be among the victims.

Those killed and wounded were attending a Quran recitation ceremony on Friday.

Initial information suggested that explosives were placed in a motorised rickshaw in a district of central Ghazni province, interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said.

According to the ministry, the explosion occurred at 2pm local time [09:30 GMT].

Provincial governor spokesman Wahidullah Jumazada said initial investigations suggested the blast occurred when children gathered around a man who was riding the motorcycle and selling items. Jumazada said the Quran recitation ceremony was nearby.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the incident.

Ghazni is among the most volatile provinces in Afghanistan. Taliban militants control half of the districts in the province and most of the remaining districts are contested.

Violence in Afghanistan has spiked in recent months even as the Taliban and Afghan government negotiators meet in Qatar to hammer out a peace deal that could put an end to decades of war.

Source: News Agencies