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At least 69 killed in Afghanistan mosque attack as violence targets civilians

A man wounded from an attack in Afghanistan is carried by volunteers on a stretcher
Photo: Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images

Local officials and area residents were still searching for bodies on Saturday following a bomb attack at a mosque in eastern Afghanistan the day prior that killed at least 69 people and left at least 36 more injured, reports Al Jazeera.

Why it matters: An uptick in violent attacks against civilians in Afghanistan has left 1,174 civilians dead between July and September, reports the Washington Post. The spike in violence emerged amid a tense election season in Afghanistan, and failed U.S.-Taliban peace talks in early September.

  • More civilians died or were injured in the 3-month stretch than in any other quarter over the last decade, according to a UN report released this week.
  • Friday's attack was the second-deadliest for the year, and comes just one day after the United Nations called the Afghan civilian casualties "unprecedented," notes Al Jazeera.

The latest: No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the government is accusing Taliban insurgents, per Al Jazeera. A spokesperson for the Taliban denies the group's culpability for the attack.

  • Taliban and Islamic State militants continue to operate in parts of Nangarhar, which sits along the border of Pakistan to the east, according to the Guardian.

Go deeper... Mark Esper: Trump ordered stepped-up military operations in Afghanistan