Blast at Afghan mosque kills 62 during Friday prayers

Clay Curtis
October 18, 2019

The explosion, which witnesses said collapsed the mosque's roof, took place in eastern Nangarhar province and also wounded at least 33 people, provincial governor spokesman Attaullah Khogyani told AFP.

On Thursday, a United Nations report said more than 2,500 civilians were killed and over 5,600 wounded in the first nine months of this year.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blasts, which Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, strongly condemned.

A United Nations report on civilian casualties recorded 4,313 civilians killed and wounded in the past three months.

The number of casualties may rise as rescuers are working to bring out the bodies from the rubble, according to a provincial council member, Sohrab Qaderi. Insurgents were responsible for 62 per cent. July to September were the deadliest months so far this year.

The mosque sits in Haska Mina district, about 50 kilometers from the provincial capital, Jalalabad.

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The report said 2,563 civilians were killed and 5,676 were wounded in the first nine months of this year.

According to the world body, 1,174 civilians were killed and 3,139 were wounded, marking a 42% increase in fatalities and injuries compared to the same period past year. "Most of the wounded have been taken to nearby hospitals", an official was quoted as saying by Tolo News.

The Taliban and Islamic State fighters are actively operating in parts of Nangarhar which shares a border with Pakistan in the east.

They insisted Khalilzad was not in Pakistan to restart US-Taliban peace talks, however.

In western Herat province, six civilians including four children were killed Thursday when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb, said Jelani Farhad, spokesman for the provincial governor.

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