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Death Toll from ISIS Attack on Kabul Mosque Rises, Victims Buried | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Policemen try to rescue a child at the site of a suicide attack on a mosque in Kabul. Photo: Reuters

The number of people killed in an attack on a Shi’ite mosque in the Afghan capital Kabul during Friday prayers rose to at least 28 up from 20, the chief of Kabul’s hospitals said Saturday as hundreds of mourners buried the victims.

Distraught relatives and friends carried coffins into the cemetery one by one.

Mohammad Salim Rasouli said more than 50 others were wounded in the attack a day earlier that went on for hours.

Two assailants blew themselves up and another two were shot to death by Afghan security forces, according to police official Mohammed Sadique Muradi.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, the latest to target Afghanistan’s minority Shi’ites.

The organization said in a statement on the website of its Aamaq news agency that it had deployed two attackers to the mosque. There was no immediate explanation for the contradictory number of attackers.

The Taliban condemned the violence, with a spokesman for the militants, Zabihullah Mujahid, telling The Associated Press in a telephone interview that the group had nothing to do with it.

President Ashraf Ghani condemned the violence and said the militants were turning to attacking places of worship because they were losing on the battlefield. He urged clerics everywhere to condemn the bloodshed.

Security forces had surrounded the mosque in the northern Kabul neighborhood but did not initially enter to prevent further casualties to the many worshipers inside, police official Mohammed Jamil said. Later, as police tried to advance, one of the attackers set off an explosion that forced them to withdraw, Muradi said.

The cleric who was performing the prayers was among the dead, said Mir Hussain Nasiri, a member of Afghanistan’s Shi’ite clerical council.