Afghanistan: Deadly explosions hit Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif

At least 11 killed in a series of separate explosions that hit a mosque in Kabul and vehicles in northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

A wounded man receives treatment in a hospital, after a bombing in Mazar-e-Sharif, northern Afghanistan
A wounded man receives treatment at a hospital in Mazar-e-Sharif [Masih Paeiz/AP Photo]

A series of explosions in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif has killed nine people while a blast at a mosque in the capital Kabul left at least two worshippers dead, according to officials.

A bomb exploded inside a mosque in the capital Kabul late on Wednesday, killing at least two people and wounding 10 others, the interior ministry said.

Kabul’s Emergency hospital tweeted that five people had been killed in the mosque blast and 22 others wounded.

Al Jazeera could not independently verify the death toll.

Several ambulances rushed to the mosque in Kabul to ferry the victims of the blast, witnesses said.

There were no further details on the blast that struck the Hazrat Zakaria Mosque in the city’s central Police District 4, according to Khalid Zadran, a Taliban police spokesman in Kabul.

“The blast took place while people were inside the mosque for the evening prayers,” Zadran said, adding that they were waiting for an update.

A map showing Afghan capital Kabul and the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif.
(Al Jazeera)

Minibuses were targeted in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif and explosive devices were placed inside the vehicles, according to Mohammad Asif Waziri, a Taliban-appointed spokesman in Balkh province. He said the explosions killed nine and wounded 15.

“The bombs were placed on three minibuses in different districts of the city,” Waziri said, adding that 15 other people were wounded.

ISIL claims responsibility

The ISIL (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the Mazar-e-Sharif attacks in a message posted on the group’s Aamaq news agency.

There was no claim of responsibility for the Kabul mosque explosion but it also bore the hallmarks of a regional affiliate of the ISIL group known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-K).

The number of bomb attacks have dropped across the country since the Taliban seized power last year in August, but several cities were rocked by bombings during the holy month of Ramadan.

Dozens of civilians were killed in Ramadan in the primarily sectarian attacks – some claimed by the ISKP.

The ISKP, which has been operating in Afghanistan since 2014, is being seen as the greatest security challenge facing the country’s Taliban rulers.

Following their takeover, the Taliban has launched a sweeping crackdown against the ISKP headquarters in eastern Afghanistan.

Source: News Agencies