Explosion at Shia Mosque in Afghanistan’s Kandahar Causes ‘Heavy Casualties’

A large explosion has hit a Shia mosque in Afghanistan’s southern city of Kandahar, killing at least 33 people and wounding scores of others.

Qari Saeed Khosti, the spokesman of the Taliban’s new government’s interior ministry said, said the blast which took place during Friday prayers caused "heavy casualties", adding that authorities are collecting details of the explosion.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Eyewitnesses described three terrorists, one of whom blew himself up at the entrance to the mosque with the two others detonating their devices inside the building.

It came just a week after a bomb attack claimed by the Daesh terrorist group killed more than 150 people and left score of others injured at a Shia mosque in the northeastern city of Kunduz.  

Nematullah Wafa, a former member of the local provincial council, said the new attack occurred at the Imam Bargah mosque.

Photographs and mobile phone footage posted by journalists on social media showed many people apparently dead or seriously wounded on the bloody floor of the mosque.

A health official gave figures of 33 dead and 73 wounded and said the final total could be higher.

The embassy of Iran condemned the attack. "We hope Taliban leaders take decisive action against these wicked terrorist incidents," it said in a tweet.

There have been several attacks in Afghanistan in recent weeks, some of which have been claimed by an armed group affiliated with the Daesh terrorist group.

The terrorist bombing last Friday came after the Taliban said they did not consider Daesh a threat, but a “headache.”

The Taliban say Daesh lacks popular support in Afghanistan and would certainly very soon be “suppressed.”

The militant group took power in Afghanistan in mid-August, as the US was in the middle of a chaotic troop withdrawal from the country. The Taliban announced the formation of a caretaker government on September 7.

The Taliban first ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, when the United States invaded the country and toppled the Taliban-run government on the pretext of fighting terrorism following the September 11 attacks in the US.