Blasts in Afghanistan mosque kill scores of worshippers

Blasts in Afghanistan mosque kill scores of worshippers

Scores of people have been killed and more than 100 others wounded by several blasts in a mosque in eastern Afghanistan’sNangarhar province, according to local officials.

Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for Nangarhar’s governor, said at least 62 people had been killed by the explosions, which rocked the building in the province’s Haska Mena district during Friday prayers.

Sohrab Qaderi, a member of the provincial council in Nangarhar, told Reuters news agency that more than 100 others had been wounded in the incident and the death toll was likely to increase.

“The number of casualties may rise as the rescue team and people are working to bring out the bodies from the rubble,” Qaderi said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blasts, which took place a day after the United Nations said violence in the country had reached “unacceptable” levels.

The figures – 1,174 deaths and 3,139 wounded from July 1 until September 30 this year – represent a 42 percent increase over the same period last year. More than 40 percent of the casualties were women and children.

The UN laid the blame mainly at the feet of “anti-government elements” such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) armed group and the Taliban, which was removed from power during a US-led invasion in 2001, though it also documented an alarming rise in casualties caused by pro-government forces.

Both ISIL and the Taliban are active in Nangarhar province, with Afghan security forces struggling to battle both groups after the United States and NATO officially concluded their combat mission in the country four years ago.

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