Accessibility links

Breaking News

Gunmen Attack Shi'ite Mosque In Kabul, Casualties Reported

Afghan security forces at the site of an attack on a Shi'ite Muslim mosque in Kabul on August 25

Several people were reported killed after attackers stormed a Shi’ite mosque in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Police and witnesses reported that there were sounds of explosions and gunfire at the scene of the August 25 attack, but details remained sketchy.

Interior Ministry spokesman Najeeb Danish told RFE/RL that a “terrorist attack” took place at around 1:20 p.m. at the Imam Zaman Mosque in Kabul’s Qala-e Najara area.

“There might be two or three terrorists involved,” he added. “We have begun our clearance operation and two terrorists have already been killed in the area.”

A Health Ministry spokesman, Mohammad Ismail Kawoosi, said the attack left at least two people dead and eight others wounded.

Kabul police spokesman Abdul Basir Mujahid said a suicide bomber "detonated himself inside the mosque where worshippers had gathered for Friday Prayers.

An unidentified police official quoted witnesses as reporting a blast followed by gunfire.

Other witnesses said that gunmen threw grenades before entering the mosque.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Shi’a are a minority in Afghanistan who have been threatened and attacked in the past by various Sunni militant groups -- including Islamic State and Taliban extremists.

On August 1, at least 32 people were killed and more than 60 injured by a suicide bomber and a gunman who targeted a Shi’ite mosque in the western city of Herat in an attack claimed by the IS group.

The August 25 assault comes after President Donald Trump outlined earlier this week the new U.S. strategy for the war-torn country.

It also underscores increased insecurity in Afghanistan as a resurgent Taliban steps up offensives across the country and IS militants expand their Afghan footprint.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, AFP, and dpa