Updated Oct 8, 2021 - World

Suicide bombing at Shiite mosque in Afghanistan kills dozens

Taliban fighters investigate inside a Shiite mosque after a suicide bomb attack in Kunduz

Taliban fighters investigate following the attack in Kunduz. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

A suicide bombing inside a Shiite mosque in northern Afghanistan on Friday killed more than 45 people and wounded dozens of others, AP reports.

Driving the news: ISIS-K, an Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for the blast, which took place as people gathered for Friday noon prayers at the Gozar-e-Sayed Abad Mosque in the city of Kunduz, per AP. It's the highest death toll in an attack since U.S. and NATO troops withdrew from the country in August.

  • Taliban spokesperson Bilal Karimi told AP that at least 46 people were killed and more than 140 were wounded. Health officials warned the death total was expected to climb, Reuters notes.

The big picture: The attack comes as the Taliban contend with a growing security threat from ISIS-K militants, who have stepped up attacks in recent weeks.

  • Several civilians were killed or wounded in a bomb blast at a mosque in Kabul earlier this month, per Reuters. The Taliban said their forces destroyed an ISIS-K cell following the attack.

What they're saying: "Today’s incident is part of a disturbing pattern of violence: 3rd deadly attack this week apparently targeting a religious institution," the UN mission to Afghanistan tweeted.

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

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