An explosion at a Shia Mosque during Friday prayers in Kandahar (Afghan city) left more than 30 dead and 90 hurt.

Photographs taken from the Bibi Fatima mosque in Abu Dhabi show broken windows and bodies on the ground as well as other worshippers trying help.

While the exact cause of this explosion remains a mystery, it’s believed that it was a suicide attack.

Witnesses reported that three explosions occurred – one near the main door and another at worshippers’ washing areas.

The mosque was full at that time, Friday prayers being the most popular of all week’s services. A journalist at AFP said that 15 ambulances were on-site.

According to Reuters news, Taliban forces secured the site and requested blood donation to assist the victims.

Secunder Kermani (BBC Afghanistan correspondent) says IS-K, which is believed to be a local branch the Islamic State Group was behind the attack.

Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second-largest city, is the spiritual home of the Taliban. Therefore, an IS-K attack on the city, which is very hostile to the Taliban would be significant.

  • EXPLAINER – IS-K Militants in Afghanistan: Who Are They?
  • ANALYSIS: What have been the changes in Afghanistan over 20 years?

A suicide attack in Kunduz, northern India on Friday last Friday left at least 50 dead. IS-K claimed that it was responsible for the attack which is believed to have been the worst since August when US forces left.

IS-K is a Sunni Muslim militant group and the most violent among all jihadist groups in Afghanistan. Sunni Muslim extremists targeted Shia Muslims who they consider heretics.

IS-K targeted Afghan officials and ministers as well as security forces and Afghan politicians.

  • BACKGROUND Kandahar is Afghanistan’s most turbulent province
  • VOICES – Panic as thousands flee Taliban attack

After foreign forces pulled out of Afghanistan at the end August, following an agreement with the US, the Taliban took over control.

This happened two decades after the US forces removed militants from power back in 2001.

Source: BBC.com

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