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Islamic State group claims Afghanistan mosque attack that killed dozens

Jihadists say two suicide bombers carried out separate attacks on different parts of mosque in Kandahar

Afghan men sit in a courtyard inside a Shiite mosque in Kandahar on October 15, 2021, after a suicide bomb attack during Friday prayers (Javed TANVEER / AFP)
Afghan men sit in a courtyard inside a Shiite mosque in Kandahar on October 15, 2021, after a suicide bomb attack during Friday prayers (Javed TANVEER / AFP)

The Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K) group claimed the suicide bombing of a Shiite mosque in the Afghan city of Kandahar on Friday that killed at least 41 people and wounded scores more.

In a statement released on its Telegram channels, the jihadist group said that two suicide bombers carried out separate attacks on different parts of the mosque while worshippers prayed inside.

“The first suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest… in a mosque hallway, while the second suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest in the mosque’s center,” the statement said.

The assault in the southern city — the Taliban’s spiritual heartland — came just a week after a deadly suicide attack on Shiite worshippers at a mosque in northern Kunduz, which was also claimed by the IS group.

The Taliban, which seized control of Afghanistan in mid-August after overthrowing the US-backed government, has its own history of persecuting Shiites.

But the new Taliban-led government has vowed to stabilize the country, and in the wake of the Kunduz attack promised to protect the Shiite minority now living under its rule.

Afghan men inspect the damages inside a Shiite mosque in Kandahar on October 15, 2021, after a suicide bomb attack during Friday prayers (JAVED TANVEER / AFP)

Shiites are estimated to make up roughly 10 percent of the Afghan population. Many of them are Hazara, an ethnic group that has been persecuted in Afghanistan for decades.

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