Islamic State claims responsibility for Afghan mosque bombing
Roughly 300 Shiite worshippers had filled the Gozar-e-Sayed Abad Mosque in Kunduz when a bomb detonated during Friday noon prayers. The explosion killed at least 70 people and wounded more than 100 others, the Taliban reported. A spokesperson said the blast may have come from a suicide bomber. The deputy police chief promised the Taliban would protect “our Shiite brothers.”
Was this a targeted attack? The Islamic State affiliate known as Islamic State in Khorasan (IS-K) claimed responsibility. It identified the bomber as a Uyghur Muslim, saying the attack targeted both Shiites and the Taliban for their purported willingness to expel Uyghurs to meet demands from China. IS-K has declared war on minority Shiite Muslims, whom it considers heretics. It also claimed responsibility for the Aug. 26 bombing outside the Kabul airport during the U.S. military withdrawal. That bomb killed 169 Afghans and 13 American military members. Senior Taliban officials over the weekend said they could tackle Islamic State without American support during the first direct talks with U.S. representatives since the withdrawal. State Department spokesman Ned Price said the meetings in Doha addressed providing humanitarian aid directly to Afghans and safe passage for U.S. citizens but was not a preamble for U.S. recognition of the Taliban.
Dig deeper: Read Emily Belz’s report about how veterans and aid workers are responding to Taliban rule.
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