At least seven people were killed and 13 wounded when a series of explosions tore through a Shiite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar during Friday prayers, according to reports.
“So far seven dead and 13 wounded have been brought to our hospital,” a doctor in the city’s central hospital told Agence France-Presse.
The cause of the blasts was not immediately identified, but it came exactly a week after ISIS claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack that killed 46 worshippers at a Shiite mosque in the northern city of Kunduz.
The extremist group, which is opposed to the ruling Taliban, views Shiite Muslims as apostates who deserve to die.
An eyewitness told AFP he heard three blasts, one at the main door of the mosque, another at a southern area, and a third where worshippers clean themselves.
Interior ministry spokesman Qari Sayed Khosti said in a tweet: “We are saddened to learn that an explosion took place in a mosque of the Shiite brotherhood in the first district of Kandahar city in which a number of our compatriots were martyred and wounded.”
He added: “Special forces of the Islamic Emirate have arrived in the area to determine the nature of the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.”
An AFP journalist reported that the mosque was full of people at the time of the explosions.
Gruesome images posted to social media, which could not be immediately verified, showed bodies lying on the floor of the mosque.
Nematullah Wafa, a former member of the provincial council, told Reuters the attack at the Imam Bargah mosque caused heavy casualties. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.