Pair of mosque attacks kill at least 50 in Afghanistan

Pair of mosque attacks kill at least 50 in Afghanistan

A suicide bomber killed at least 30 people inside a Shi'ite mosque in the Afghan capital Kabul on Friday night, a security official said, and a separate bombing killed at least another 20 at a mosque in the middle of the country.

The Kabul bombing is the latest in a string of violent attacks on the country's Shi'ite minority. The attack occurred at Imam Zaman mosque in the western Dasht-e-Barchi part of Kabul as Shi'ite worshippers gathered for prayers.

A senior security official said the exact number of casualties was unknown but that security forces at the scene had removed at least 30 bodies.

Afghanistan's Shi'ite population has been heavily hit this year, with at least 84 people killed and 194 wounded in attacks on their mosques and religious ceremonies, according to a United Nations report released last week.

Among those were at least two attacks on mosques in Kabul in August and September.

A separate attack on a mosque in the central province of Ghor was also reported on Friday.

Iqbal Nezami, a spokesman for the Ghor provincial police, said at least 20 people were killed in the bombing that appeared to target a local leader.

The targeted official was a top local political and military leader of the Jamiat political party in Ghor, and was killed along with as many as 30 other worshippers, according to a statement from Balkh provincial governor Atta Mohammad Noor, a leading figure in Jamiat.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either attack.

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