A suicide bomb explosion occurred at a Shiite mosque in northern Afghanistan’s Kunduz province, the Gozar-e-Sayed Abad Mosque. Dozens of worshippers were killed or wounded. At least 43 people are dead and more than 140 hurt in the suicide attack. The attack occurred during Friday prayers. The deadly explosion has marked the bloodiest assault since US forces left Afghanistan.Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that the mosque was specifically targeted, tweeting that “a number of our compatriots were martyred and wounded.” The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan later tweeted that it was “deeply concerned.” There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Security forces were on the scene and an investigation was underway.
Officials believe that the explosion may be the work of militants from Islamic State, which has a long history of attacking Afghanistan’s Shiite minority. The bombing comes days after another mosque was targeted in central Kabul, killing at least seven people. In recent days, the Taliban have conducted several operations targeting ISIS-K militants. The Taliban claimed to have killed at least nine ISIS-K members and detained five others. ISIS Khorasan was behind the suicide blast outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport which killed dozens of civilians and 13 US Marines in the final days of US troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan.