Several wounded in eastern Afghanistan mosque blast

A doctor says three killed and 12 others injured as Taliban officials confirm the blast at the mosque in the Spin Ghar area.

An explosion hit a mosque in the Spin Ghar district of Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan, wounding at least 12 people including the imam of the mosque, local residents said.

Atal Shinwari, a resident of the area, said the blast occurred at around 1:30 p.m. when explosives apparently located in the interior of the mosque detonated.

A Taliban official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the blast and said casualties were feared but gave no further details.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the apparent attack, the latest in a series of blasts to hit mosques in Afghanistan over recent weeks, undermining the Taliban claim to have restored security after decades of war.

The mosque was attended by Sunni Muslims. Previous attacks since the Taliban takeover have struck Shi’ite mosques and have been claimed by the Sunni militant group Islamic State.

A member of the Taliban holds a flag in Kabul, Afghanistan June 16, 2018. The writing on the flag reads: ‘There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah’ (credit: REUTERS/MOHAMMAD ISMAIL)

Accounts of casualties varied. Shinwari said at least 12 people had been wounded, including the imam of the mosque. Another resident said 15 people had been hurt, three seriously.

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