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34 martyred worshippers laid to rest

AT News Report-KABUL: A mass funeral ceremony was held on Saturday for the victims of a suicide attack on a mosque in southeastern Paktia province, locals said.

At least 34 people were killed and another 94 injured on Friday when a suicide bomber struck the mosque in Gardez, the provincial capital.

Abdullah, a resident of the area, complained ambulances reached the site too late to evacuate the injured to hospital. “We blame the government because there were no ambulances and security personnel for an hour.”

Other inhabitants, Khwaja Hassan and Syed Haidar slammed the attack as the handiwork of Afghanistan’s enemies, who wanted to divide the Afghans.

According to Haidar, elders, youth and children were killed and wounded and several copies of the Quran burnt in the barbaric assault on worshippers.

“The bombers wore burkas; we thought they are women. When we finished the prayers, they entered the mosque and detonated their explosives after killing the guards,” he added.

Sherin Gardezi, another local, also assailed the government for its failure to act swiftly. But police chief Brig. Gen. Raz Mohammad Mandozai rejected the claims and said residents took up weapons and allowed no one to enter the mosque.

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