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The Latest: Pakistan condemns mosque attacks in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Latest on developments in Afghanistan (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

Pakistan is strongly condemning two suicide attacks at mosques in Afghanistan that killed at least 72 people.

In a statement Saturday, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said the government and people of Pakistan stand in solidarity with the Afghan government and its people.

The statement said Pakistan expressed condolences to the affected families and reiterated its condemnation of all forms of terrorism.

In the attack in Kabul, a suicide bomber walked into a Shiite mosque where he detonated his explosives vest, killing 39 and wounding at least 41, while in Ghor province a suicide bomber struck a Sunni mosque during Friday prayers killing 33.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the Kabul attack.


11 a.m.

The Islamic State group is claiming responsibility for a suicide bombing attack on a Shiite mosque in Kabul that killed at least 39 and wounded at least 41.

The group in a statement on its website late Friday says its fighter “Abu Ammar al-Turkmani detonated his explosive vest among the apostates” in the Imam Zaman mosque in western Kabul earlier in the day.

IS has staged similar attacks on Shiite mosques in recent months.

The so-called Islamic State in Afghanistan has taken responsibility for most of the attacks targeting Shiites, whom the Sunni extremist group considers to be apostates. Earlier this year, following an attack claimed by IS on the Iraqi Embassy in Kabul, the militant group effectively declared war on Afghanistan’s Shiites, saying they would be the target of future attacks.


10:15 a.m.

Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry says the fatalities from a suicide bombing attack in a Shiite mosque in the capital Kabul has risen to 39 dead and 41 wounded.

The ministry’s press office says in a statement Saturday it is investigating the attack a day earlier at the Imam Zaman Mosque in western Kabul’s Dashte-e-Barchi neighborhood. It said the assailant blew himself up as worshippers began their prayers.

A second suicide bombing in western Ghor province on Friday struck a Sunni mosque, also during Friday prayers, and killed 33 people including a warlord who was apparently the target of the attack.

Abdul Hussain Naseri, a Shiite cleric, condemned the Kabul attack and said more security is needed for Shiite mosques in the city.


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