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An explosion tore by a crowded mosque in western Afghanistan on Friday, killing not less than 18 folks, together with a distinguished cleric near the Taliban.
Taliban officers and a neighborhood medic mentioned. At the least 21 folks had been harm.
The explosion within the metropolis of Herat left the courtyard of the Guzargah Mosque affected by our bodies, the bottom stained with blood, video from the scene confirmed. Males shouted, “God is nice,” in shock and horror.
The bomb went off throughout Friday midday prayers, when mosques are filled with worshippers.
AFGHANISTAN ANNIVERSARY: AMERICA MUST KEEP ITS PROMISE TO OUR AFGHAN ALLIES
Among the many lifeless was Mujib-ul Rahman Ansari, a distinguished cleric who was identified throughout Afghanistan for his criticism of the nation’s Western-backed governments over the previous 20 years. Ansari was seen as near the Taliban, who seized management over Afghanistan a yr in the past as overseas forces withdrew.
His dying was confirmed by the chief Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid. Simply earlier than the bombing, Ansari had been assembly in one other a part of the town with the Taliban authorities’s deputy prime minister, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who was on a go to to Herat. He had rushed from the assembly to the mosque to get to the midday prayers, an aide to Baradar mentioned in a tweet mourning the cleric.
Ambulances transported 18 our bodies and 21 folks wounded from the blast to hospitals in Herat, mentioned Mohammad Daud Mohammadi, an official on the Herat ambulance middle.
There was no instant declare of accountability for Friday’s blast.
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Final month, a bombing at a mosque within the capital Kabul focused and killed a pro-Taliban cleric in an assault claimed by the Islamic State group. IS has waged a bloody marketing campaign of assaults on Taliban targets and minority teams, significantly Shiites whom the extremist Sunni IS considers heretics. It has incessantly hit mosques with suicide assaults throughout Friday prayers.
Herat’s Guzargah Mosque, the place Ansari has lengthy been the preacher, attracts followers of Sunni Islam, the dominant stream in Afghanistan that can also be adopted by the Taliban.
Ansari was for years a thorn within the facet of Afghanistan’s pro-Western authorities. In his sermons on the Guzargah, he urged his many supporters to hold out protests in opposition to the governments and preached in opposition to ladies’s rights.