Three dozens were wounded at the scene. The mosque was being used as a voter registration center. The blast was caused by a bomb placed in the mosque. “The blast happened while people were busy with prayers, meanwhile in other part of the mosque people had gathered to get their voter registration cards for the election,” Talib Mangal, spokesman for the provincial governor in Khost, said.
The Taliban denied involvement in the blast, and so far no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. “We reject any kind of involvement in this incident,” their spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said. However, ISIS is not known to have a presence in Khost. Afghanistan plans to hold elections in October, the first since 2014. There have been a number of attacks on voter registration centers since the process began. Last month, an Islamic State suicide bomber attacked a voter registration center in Kabul, killing 60 people and wounding at least 130 others. Now, in a separate incident, a vehicle carrying shopkeepers on their way to a market struck a roadside bomb in Afghanistan’s northern Faryab Province. Seven of them were killed. The U.S. and NATO concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014, switching to a counter-terrorism and support role.