At least seven people killed and 41 others injured, including children, as a car bomb exploded outside a mosque in the Afghan capital Kabul when worshippers were coming out after Friday prayers.
A car bomb has exploded outside a mosque in Kabul, when worshippers were going out of the premises after prayers, killing at least seven people and wounding 41, including several children.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing on Friday, the latest in a steady stream of attacks since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan just over a year ago.
A column of black smoke rose into the sky and shots rang out several minutes after the explosion near the mosque, located in a high-profile diplomatic neighbourhood of the Afghan capital.
A Taliban-appointed Interior Ministry spokesman, Abdul Nafi Takor, said the vehicle with explosives was parked by the roadside near the mosque and detonated as worshippers were coming out after Friday prayers.
He added that an investigation was underway, with police at the site.
The Italian Emergency Hospital, one of Kabul's clinics that treated the victims, said it received 14 casualties from the site, with four dead on arrival.
READ MORE: Death toll from Kabul mosque attack climbs
Another bitter reminder of ongoing insecurity and terrorist activity in Afghanistan - today's explosion outside a downtown mosque in Kabul caused numerous casualties, including fatalities. Our thoughts are with the families of those killed, wishing speedy recovery to the injured— UNAMA News (@UNAMAnews) September 23, 2022
Khalid Zadran, a spokesman for the Kabul police chief, said worshippers were intentionally targeted as they were leaving the Wazir Akbar Khan Mosque.
“Targeting mosques and worshippers is an unforgivable crime, the nation should cooperate with the regime in eliminating criminals,” said Taliban government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.
The United Nations mission in Kabul tweeted that the bombing was another “bitter reminder of ongoing insecurity and terrorist activity in Afghanistan."
“Our thoughts are with the families of those killed, wishing speedy recovery to the injured,” added the mission, known as UNAMA.
A bomb ripped through the same mosque in 2020, killing its imam.
While overall violence has significantly dropped across Afghanistan since the war ended with the Taliban returning to power, there have been regular bomb attacks in Kabul and other cities.
Several mosques and clerics have been targeted in these attacks, some claimed by Daesh terror group.
Two Russian embassy staff members were killed in a suicide bombing outside the offices earlier this month, the latest attack in the capital claimed by the group.