News ID: 260448
Published: 0408 GMT October 19, 2019

Afghans look for bodies after 69 killed in mosque blasts

Afghans look for bodies after 69 killed in mosque blasts
PARWIZ/REUTERS
An injured man is taken to a hospital after the bomb blast at a mosque in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, on October 18, 2019.

Police and local people searched on Saturday for more bodies in the rubble of a mosque in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar Province after bomb explosions in which at least 69 people were killed during Friday prayers.

The explosives were placed inside the mosque in the Jawdara area of Haska Mena district, Reuters reported.

Sohrab Qaderi, a member of Nangarhar’s provincial council, said the mosque, with capacity of more than 150 worshippers at a time, was full of people when the bombs exploded.

“Bodies of 69 people, including children and elders, have been handed to their relatives,” Qaderi said, adding that more bodies could be lying under the rubble.

On Friday, local officials had reported the number of dead at 62 and around 50 wounded.

No group has claimed responsibility but the government accused the Taliban.

Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban, denied the group was responsible. In a tweet, he said that witnesses to the attack said it was a mortar attack by government forces.

A Reuters reporter saw 67 freshly excavated graves for the victims in Jawdara village.

US Ambassador John R Bass said in a tweet that “killing worshippers assembled together in peace is unconscionable. All Afghans have the right to live and worship together in safety.”

The European Union said the attack aimed to undermine hopes for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

The Taliban and Daesh terrorists are actively operating in parts of Nangarhar, which shares a border with Pakistan in the east.

The mosque attack was the latest act of violence in the country. A UN report this week said 4,313 civilians were killed and wounded in Afghanistan’s war between July and September.

 

   
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