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Blast At Shi'ite Mosque In Kabul Kills At Least 27

  • RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan

Afghan officials say a suicide bomber has detonated his explosives inside a Shi’ite mosque in Kabul, killing at least 27 people.

Fraydon Obaidi, chief of the Kabul police’s Criminal Investigation Department, said 35 other people were wounded in the November 21 attack.

The extremist group Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack.

“A martyrdom attack by an Islamic State fighter targets a Shi’ite [shrine] in the city of Kabul," the group's Aamaq Agency said in a news flash.

The bomber targeted the Baqir ul-Olum mosque in the western part of the city as worshippers gathered there for Shi'ite religious rituals marking the end of a 40-day mourning period for the anniversary of the death of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson.

The Taliban said it was not responsible for the attack, which President Ashraf Ghani described as "barbaric."

"Terrorists cannot achieve their masters' goals by spreading fear," a statement said.

Afghanistan should not fall victim to "enemy plots that divide us by titles," said Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, who called the bombing "an act against Islam and humanity."

The United States "strongly" condemned the bombing.

"This cowardly attack was clearly intended to stoke sectarian tensions in Afghanistan," National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

In July, an attack claimed by the Islamic State group killed 80 people at a Shi'ite demonstration in Kabul.

Shi'a make up about 15 percent of Afghanistan's population.

With reporting by Reuters, AFP, AP, and dpa
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