Dozens of casualties have been reported after a horrifying terrorist attack that rocked Afghanistan on Friday.
The Washington Examiner reports that a suicide bomber targeted a group of Muslims who had gathered at a mosque in northern Afghanistan for prayer. “Most of the victims died” in the attack, police said, according to the Examiner.
An attack in Afghanistan
The attack reportedly took place at Gozar-e-Sayed Abad Mosque, located in Kunduz, on Friday afternoon. It came during what’s said to be the most important part of the religious week for Muslims.
In a report detailed the bombing, the Associated Press said “[t]he blast blew out windows, charred the ceiling, and scattered debris and twisted metal across the floor.”
“Rescuers carried one body out on a stretcher and another in a blanket,” the AP added. “Blood stains covered the front steps.”
The Taliban reported Friday that some 46 people had died and roughly 143 more were wounded as a result of the attack. It remains unclear whether these numbers are still accurate as of Saturday.
As it stands, however, the bombing marks the worst terrorist attack seen in Afghanistan since President Joe Biden’s administration withdrew America’s troops from the country earlier this year.
Who’s behind it?
A Taliban spokesman has said that the group is investigating the Friday bombing. According to the AP, however, the regional Islamic State affiliate, ISIS-K, has already claimed responsibility for the attack.
“In its claim of responsibility, the region’s IS affiliate identified the bomber as a Uygher Muslim, saying the attack targeted both Shiites and the Taliban for their purported willingness to expel Uyghers to meet demands from China,” the AP said.
The AP’s report went on: “The worshippers targeted in Friday’s [bombing] were Hazaras, who have long suffered from double discrimination as an ethnic minority and as followers of Shiite Islam in a majority Sunni country.”
The bombing was reportedly the third attack of its kind in the last week, and raises questions about the ability of the Taliban to fend off the Islamic State in Afghanistan in the wake of the withdrawal of U.S. forces.
For its part, the Biden administration has denounced the violence. “The Afghan people deserve a future free of terror,” a spokesperson for the State Department told the AP. It remains to be seen, however, if the White House actually has any plans to make those dreams for a bright future a reality for the Afghan people.