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At Least 20 Killed By Blast, Gun Attack At Shi'ite Mosque In Herat

An Afghan hospital official says at least 20 people have been killed by an explosion and gun attack on a Shi'ite Muslim mosque in the western city of Herat.

The explosion on the evening of August 1 struck the Jawadia Mosque in the Dehr Abad area of Herat city.

Mohammed Rafique Shahrzad, a hospital official in Herat city, confirmed that the bodies of 20 victims killed by the explosion were brought to the main hospital in the provincial capital soon after the blast.

Afghanistan's private Tolo-TV reports that security officials in Herat confirmed the attack was carried out by two attackers.

Tolo-TV reported that the first attacker detonated his explosives outside of the mosque and a second attacker opened fire on worshippers who were inside the mosque at the time of the blast.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the assault.

Shi'a are a minority in Afghanistan who have been threatened and attacked in the past by various Sunni militant groups -- including Islamic State extremists who operate in eastern Afghanistan, Taliban fighters, and Al-Qaeda militants.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Tolo-TV