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Suicide bombings in Afghanistan hit mosques, killing 63

Friday, October 20, 2017

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Suicide bombers struck two mosques in Afghanistan during today prayers, a Shiite mosque in Kabul and a Sunni mosque in western Ghor province, killing at least 63 people at the end of a particularly deadly week for the troubled nation.

The Afghan president issued a statement condemning both attacks and saying that country's security forces would step up the fight to "eliminate the terrorists who target Afghans of all religions and tribes."

In the attack in Kabul, a suicide bomber walked into the Imam Zaman Mosque, a Shiite mosque in the western Dashte-e-Barchi neighborhood where he detonated his explosives vest, killing 30 and wounding 45, said Maj. Gen. Alimast Momand at the Interior Ministry.

The suicide bombing in Ghor province struck a Sunni mosque, also during today's prayers and killed 33 people, including a warlord who was apparently the target of the attack, said Mohammad Iqbal Nizami, the spokesman for the provincial chief of police.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for either attack, the latest in a devastating week that saw Taliban attacks kill scores across the country.

The U.S. government strongly condemned the attacks in Kabul and Ghor, as well as other attacks carried out across Afghanistan this week.

"In the face of these senseless and cowardly acts, our commitment to Afghanistan is unwavering. The United States stands with the government and people of Afghanistan and will continue to support their efforts to achieve peace and security for their country," said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert in a statement.