Death Toll At 72 After Suicide Bombers Target Afghanistan Mosques

Friday prayers on October 20 were interrupted by suicide bombers who struck two mosques in Afghanistan. A Shiite mosque in Kabul and separately, a Sunni mosque in Western Ghor province resulting in the death of at least 72 people. These deaths add to the already troubled nation’s sorrow as the week closes with a bang.

The story so far:

  • IS group has already claimed responsibility for the attack in Kabul.
  • The worshippers were caught up in the tragic incident as they began their prayers at the Imam Zaman Mosque after the assailant blew himself up.
  • Afghanistan’s President reassured the country that they would step up the fight to eradicate terrorists.

The Afghan President has issued a statement criticizing the cowardly attacks and reassured the country’s security forces would “eliminate the terrorists who target Afghans of all religions and tribes.”

Kabul’s Incident

Kabul’s tragedy began as a suicide bomber entered a Shiite mosque, Imam Zaman, in the Dashte-e-Barchi neighbourhood. He wore an explosive vest, reported Major General Alimast Momand.

According to Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry, there have been 39 fatalities and 41 wounded from the attacks. A witness, Ali Mohammad, recounted that the mosque was filled with innocent worshippers when the attack occurred. He said the explosion was so strong that it shattered the windows.

The Ministry’s press office has reassured the Afghanistan public that it was investigating the attacks.

Ghor’s Incident

The attack on Ghor took place in the Do Laina district, reported Mr Nizami, the spokesman for the provincial chief of police. Ghor’s tragedy began as the suicide bomber killed 33 people during the Friday prayers in a Sunni mosque. Of the 33 people dead, was a warlord who was allegedly the target of the attack, reported Mohammad Iqbal Nizami.

However, unlike the Kabul incident, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. This incident adds to the burden of a devastating week that saw Taliban go on a killing spree throughout the country.

Local’s Outrage

Local residents rushed to the scene to aid the assistance to help the victims. Rather than being overcome with fear, locals were enraged and started to chant, “Death to ISIS.” This represents their only form of retaliation to ISIS’ identical attacks on Shiite mosques in the preceding months.

A Shiite community leader, Abdul Hussain Hussainzada, said they were sure that Afghanistan’s IS affiliate backed the attacks. Mr. Hussainzada expressed that the “community is very worried.” As the spiritual head of Afghanistan’s ethnic Hazaras, Mr. Hussainzada, said the suicide bomber was positioned at the front of the prayer hall as he stood with other men in the rows of worshippers before detonating the explosives.

President Ashraf Ghani stated that the day’s attacks reflect “the terrorists have once again staged bloody attacks, but they will not achieve their evil purposes and sow discord among the Afghans.” The Taliban have taken responsibility for earlier assaults.

Afghan forces have struggled to suppress a resurgent Taliban since the conclusion of U.S. and NATO forces’ mission; taking on a supporting and simmered down role.

Karen Cheung