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Twin bombings in Paktia mosque killed 30, wounded 81 worshipers

AT-KABUL: A pair of suicide bombings on Friday killed more than 30 people and wounded 81 others worshipping at a mosque in the city of Gardez, in eastern Paktia province, several sources told Afghanistan Times.

Wali Tabasom, the spokesman for Paktia police chief,said two bombers clad in Burqa first opened fire to kill guards in front of the mosque, then entered in the mosque and detonated their explosives among worshipers.

The bombings hit Khwaja Hasan mosque of Gardez city at 1:30pm when hundreds were offering Friday’s congregational prayers. Officials fear casualties could rise.

“At least 30 worshippers have embraced martyrdom and over 70 others injured in the suicide bombings,” Deputy Governor of Paktia Abdul Wali Sahee told Afghanistan Times, explaining that victims were shifted to various public and private hospitals and that casualty toll could exceed that figure.

The injured worshipers were evacuated to several public and private hospitals in the city by police and locals and doctors were trying to save those with severe injuries.

Taliban have rejected their involvement in the attack and said their fighters were not behind this attack.

Such attacks in the past two years were mostly claimed by Daesh group which is mostly active in eastern Afghanistan- in Nangarhar province- with mostly carrying such attacks in capital Kabul.

After several mosques were attacked by the terrorists in the past two years, government deployed security forces to guard those mosques and worshiping places which have been vulnerable against terrorist attacks.

The Daesh group which has come under military pressure of the Afghan and foreign forces is mostly striking soft targets such as mosques and civil government departments such as health and educational facilities.

Three Daesh fighters this week attacked the Refugee Ministry provincial office in eastern Nangarhar province in which at least 15 people, including two employees of international organizations, were killed and several others were injured.

Daesh group is also active in northern Afghanistan.

On Tuesday the group’s 250 fighters and their leader for northern Afghanistan, Habib Rahman, surrendered to Afghan security forces after surviving a month-long Taliban onslaught.

At least 300 fighters from the both groups were killed and over 500 were injured in the month long battle in which Taliban captured all areas previously controlled by the rival terrorist groups.

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