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50 killed in explosion at Kabul mosque during Friday prayers

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t least 50 people have been killed after a powerful explosion ripped through a mosque in Kabul on Friday, its leader said,

The blast hit the Khalifa Aga Gul Jan Mosque at around 2pm – the third bomb attack in eight days in the country.

Hundreds of worshippers had gathered for prayers on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan, with officials fearing that casualties would rise.

The Taliban’s interior ministry spokesperson Mohammad Nafi Takor said the area had been cordoned off by police.

No one has claimed the responsibility for the blast and its source is currently unclear.

Ambulances raced to the site, driving up to the end of a narrow street in an eastern neighborhood of Kabul to reach the mosque, which belongs to Afghanistan’s majority Sunni Muslims.

Emergency Hospital in downtown Kabul said it was treating 21 patients wounded in the blast.

It comes amid a spate of similar bomb attacks across the country.

At least 33 people were killed after an explosive device was detonated at a mosque and religious teaching school in the town of Imam Saheb last Friday.

Just a day before, a separate attack on a Shiite mosque in northern Mazar-e-Sharif killed at least 12 Shiite Muslim worshippers and wounded scores more.

IS-K, an affiliate of Islamic State, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Since assuming power last August, the Taliban have been battling IS-K and international officials and analysts say that the risk of a resurgence in militancy remains.

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