Atleast 32 killed in Afghan mosque blast, scores injured

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JALALABAD/ ISLAMABAD (ENNS/MD) At least 28 persons were killed and scores injured in a blast inside an Afghan mosque during Friday prayers, officials said, a day after the United Nations said violence in the country had reached “unacceptable” levels.

The explosion, which witnesses said collapsed the mosque´s roof, took place in eastern Nangarhar province and wounded at least 55 people, provincial governor spokesman Attaullah Khogyani told media.

He said the dead were “all worshippers” in the blast in Haska Mina district, roughly 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the provincial capital Jalalabad. Hospital sources in Haska Mina told media that “around” 32 bodies had been brought in, along with 50 wounded.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Both the Taliban and the Daesh group are active in Nangarhar province. Witnesses said the roof of the mosque had fallen through after the “loud” explosion, the nature of which was not immediately clear.

The blast came after the UN released a new report on Thursday saying an “unprecedented” number of civilians were killed or wounded in Afghanistan from July to September.

The report, which also charts violence throughout 2019 so far, underscores how “Afghans have been exposed to extreme levels of violence for many years” despite promises by all sides to “prevent and mitigate harm to civilians”.

The figures — 1,174 deaths and 3,139 injured from July 1 until September 30 — represent a 42 percent increase compared to the same time period last year. The UN laid most of the blame for the spike at the feet of “anti-government elements” such as the Taliban, who have been carrying out a bloody insurgency in Afghanistan for more than 18 years.

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