On Sunday, a bomb exploded in the entryway of a mosque in the Afghan capital, killing “many civilians,” according to a Taliban spokesman.
The bomb exploded at Kabul’s vast Eidgah Mosque, which was hosting a memorial service for the mother of Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, who later tweeted that the blast killed civilians.
The operation did not result in any casualties among Taliban members, Taliban spokesperson Bilal Karimi told the Associated Press. The attack killed individuals outside the mosque’s gate. He did not specify the number of people killed and stated that an investigation was continuing.
Emergency NGO, a hospital in Kabul that is partially supported by Italy, reported that it has received four persons injured in the blast.
The area around the mosque was cordoned off by the Taliban, who maintained a heavy security presence.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. However, since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August, attacks by Islamic State group militants against them have increased. The rise has raised the possibility of a wider conflict between the two extremist groups.
IS maintains a strong presence in the eastern province of Nangarhar and considers the Taliban an enemy. IS has claimed several attacks against the Taliban, including several killings in the provincial capital of Jalalabad.
Attacks in Kabul have so far been rare, but in recent weeks IS has shown signs it is expanding its footprint beyond the east and closer toward the capital.
On Friday, Taliban fighters raided an IS hideout just north of Kabul in Parwan province. The raid came after an IS roadside bomb wounded four Taliban fighters in the area.
Image Credit: Getty