Mosque Blast Kills At Least 18 In Afghanistan

An explosion at a mosque in the city of Herat in western Afghanistan killed a high-profile pro-Taliban scholar as well as more than a dozen civilians.

Images on social media on Friday showed what appeared to be blood-stained bodies scattered around the mosque compound. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

“Eighteen people were martyred in the incident and 23 others were wounded,” Hameedullah Motawakel, spokesman for the governor of Herat province, told reporters.

The blast went off in the Guzargah Mosque during Friday noon prayers.

“[Imam] Mujib Rahman Ansari with some of his guards and civilians have been killed on their way toward the mosque,” said Herat’s police spokesman Mahmoud Rasooli. “One of the suicide bombers blew himself up while kissing his hands.”

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the perpetrators behind the bombing would be punished.

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