An explosion has rocked a Shia mosque in the Afghan city of Kandahar during Friday prayers. At least 32 people were killed and dozens more injured. The death toll is expected to rise. The incident comes a week after a Daesh-claimed bombing at another Shia mosque in Kunduz took lives of dozens.
At least 32 people have been killed and 45 others wounded after an explosion went off inside a Shia mosque in Afghanistan’s southern city of Kandahar, according to public health officials in the province.
The blast on Friday afternoon took place in the Bibi Fatima mosque, the largest mosque for Shia worshippers in the city.
An eyewitness told the AFP news agency he heard three blasts, one at the main door of the mosque, another at a southern area, and a third where worshippers wash themselves.
Hospital sources told Al Jazeera they were inundated with patients, and that based on the number of increasing intakes, they feared a high casualty toll.
Taliban special forces arrived at the mosque to secure the site and an appeal went out to residents to donate blood for the victims.
Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi confirmed the explosion and stated an investigation was under way, without providing further details.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Photographs posted by journalists on social media showed many people apparently dead or seriously wounded on the bloody floor of the mosque.
The incident took place a week after dozens of people were killed and more than 100 others were wounded when a mosque in the northern province of Kunduz was targeted in a Daesh claimed bombing.
The Taliban-led government promised a quick response and to hold the perpetrators for the Kunduz attack responsible.