Afghanistan: Massive explosion rips through Kabul mosque
By Vatican News staff writer
A huge explosion ripped through a crowded mosque in the Afghan capital, Kabul on Wednesday, killing at least 21 people, police said.
Multiple casualties were sustained during the blast, with Afghan police saying that as many as 33 people may have been injured, and that the toll could rise further.
The Italian-run Emergency Hospital in Kabul said on Twitter that it had received 27 people so far following the explosion in the PD17 area. Five of them are children, including a 7-year-old. Two of the patients arrived dead, while one died in the Emergency Room.
Wednesday’s deadly blast occurred during evening prayers, with the mosque’s imam reportedly among the dead, according to news reports.
The blast scene has been sealed off by security forces as intelligence teams continue investigations.
One year of Taliban rule in Afghanistan
There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for Wednesday’s attack, however, the so-called Islamic State’s local affiliate has emerged as a potent enemy of the Taliban, who seized control of Afghanistan last year following the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from the country.
In the past month, three prominent religious leaders were targeted in Kabul, and there were assassinations in other cities as well.
Last week, IS claimed responsibility for the killing of a prominent Muslim cleric at his religious centre in the capital.
This latest explosion comes after one year of Taliban rule in Afghanistan.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid condemned Wednesday’s attack and said that the “perpetrators of such crimes will soon be caught and punished” for their actions.
Stefano Sozza, the Afghanistan country director for the Emergency Hospital in Kabul says that the country “is suffering the consequences of a very long conflict that has undermined its future.”
According to Sozza, the hospital has managed six mass casualty events in the month of August alone, with a total of almost 80 patients. It is also the 16th such event since the beginning of 2022.
Additionally, throughout the year, the hospital has “continued to receive gunshot injuries, shrapnel injuries, stabbing injuries, and victims of mine and IED explosions on a daily basis.”
A US-led invasion of Afghanistan that began in 2001 toppled the previous Taliban government. Since the Taliban's return to power in August of last year, the country has faced a crippling economic crisis