At least 30 people were injured after a bomb explosion at a mosque in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province on Friday.
Those injured included the Mullah of the mosque, as officials said the explosives were planted under his seat and blew up while he was delivering the Friday sermon in Khogyani district's mosque.
“The bomb explosion was in a mosque in Khogyani district of Nangarhar province and has wounded 30 people, including the Mullah,” provincial governor spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai told the Anadolu Agency.
He did not confirm any causalities among government staff.
Taliban militants seldom target religious neighborhoods unless there are Afghan security personnel or officials in the vicinity.
“I was in the mosque and suddenly there was a big bang. I could smell gun powder and people were screaming. When I opened my eyes, I saw injured people and the mosque was stained with blood,” Ahmad Shafiq, 29, said.
Shafiq was in the mosque when the bomb exploded.
According to the head of the provincial hospital, Dr. Najibullah Kamawal, seven of the injured people were in critical condition.
“We haven’t received dead bodies yet. Since it is a remote district, if there were people killed, they would not bring them to the provincial hospital,” he added.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a message to the Anadolu Agency that he condemned the bomb blast in the mosque and said: “The bomb explosion in the mosque of Khogyani was done by enemies.”
Another bomb explosion took place within the space of a few minutes of Friday's mosque explosion in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif and injured three civilians. The bomb was planted in a hand cart.
Taliban militants have intensified their attacks and operations since the Afghan government signed a security agreement with the U.S. and NATO, which allows their forces to remain in Afghanistan beyond 2014.
The upper house of the Afghan legislature approved the controversial security pact with U.S. and NATO on Thursday.
AALast Mod: 28 Kasım 2014, 15:26