Over a dozen killed in mosque blast, as violence grips Afghanistan

At least 13 people were killed, and dozens more injured, after an explosion at a mosque in eastern Afghanistan on Sun...

Posted: May 7, 2018 7:25 AM
Updated: May 7, 2018 7:25 AM

At least 13 people were killed, and dozens more injured, after an explosion at a mosque in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, the latest in a wave of deadly attacks in the country in recent weeks.

The mosque, in the city of Khost, was also being used as a voter registration center, ahead of parliamentary elections in October.

The blast was caused by a bomb placed in the mosque, rather than by a suicide bomber, Khost's Chief of Police Basir Bina told CNN.

The Taliban denied involvement in the blast, and so far no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which happened at 2:20pm local time.

Journalists killed

It is the latest in a wave of deadly attacks to hit the war-torn country in recent weeks. On Monday, nine journalists were killed in the capital Kabul when a bomber disguised as a TV cameraman detonated a second bomb at the site of an earlier explosion.

Among the dead was Agence France Presse photographer Shah Marai, a father of six and chief photographer in the agency's bureau there. He had covering the Afghan conflict for over 15 years.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.

Also killed in a separate attack on the same day was 29-year-old BBC reporter Ahmad Shah who was shot by unknown gunmen, also in Khost province.

An especially violent day

That day, a suicide bomber in Kandahar Province, southern Afghanistan, also killed 11 students at a local religious school. So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

In addition, 22-year-old US soldier, Gabriel Conde, was also killed that day in a combat operation in the east of the country -- the first US combat death in Afghanistan since January 1.

Several members of the Afghan security forces were also killed in the operation, according to the US Department of Defense.

Fighting the Taliban

The recent uptick in violence comes despite reports in March that suggested some factions of the Taliban had expressed interested in pursuing peace talks with the Afghan government.

Those reports came on the heels of an Afghan government announcement in February that it would be willing to recognize the Taliban as a legitimate political party, as part of a potential ceasefire agreement with the Islamist militant group.

The Taliban has been waging a bitter fight in Afghanistan with the ultimate goal of ruling the country and imposing its strict interpretation of Islamic law.

The group controlled Afghanistan until 2001, when it was overthrown by the US-led coalition that invaded the country following the 9/11 attacks.

But in recent years, a resurgent Taliban has taken control of significant swaths of the country.

At the same time, areas once seen as strongholds -- such as Kabul's military base -- have recently been vulnerable to attack, raising further questions over the Afghan government's ability to protect the country.

Article Comments

Mason City
Clear
wxIcon
Hi: 15° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: -12°
Albert Lea
Clear
wxIcon
Hi: 16° Lo: 15°
Feels Like: -9°
Austin
Clear
wxIcon
Hi: 17° Lo: 16°
Feels Like: -8°
Charles City
Few Clouds
wxIcon
Hi: 15° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: -10°
Rochester
Clear
wxIcon
Hi: 14° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: -12°
Temperatures rally as snow returns
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Sara's Daybreak Forecast - Tuesday

Image

Warming Center update

${item.thumbnail.title}

StormTeam 3: Snow and ice possible later this week

Image

Austin loses tough road game at Mankato East

Image

Chris' PM Weather Forecast 1/20

Image

Success is key for Schaeffer boy's basketball

Image

What do people in Rochester think of gun control?

Image

Parenting in the modern era

Image

Klobuchar campaigns in Iowa

Image

Grizzlies use three unanswered goals to defeat Coulee Region

Community Events