21 people died in Wednesday's blast at Kabul mosque, police say

Police spokesperson Khalid Zadran says another 33 people had been injured in the blast

Smoke fumes can be seen after a powerful blast rips through a mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan. — Twitter
Smoke fumes can be seen after a powerful blast rips through a mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan. — Twitter

  • Power blast kills 21, leaves 33 people injured.
  • No group has claimed Wednesday evening's blast.
  • Police say explosive planted inside mosque.

KABUL: A blast that tore through a Kabul mosque during evening prayers on Wednesday had killed 21 people, Kabul police said on Thursday.

The number of bombings across Afghanistan has dropped since the Taliban returned to power, but several attacks — many targeting minority communities — have rocked the country in recent months, including several claimed by the Daesh group.

No group has yet claimed Wednesday evening's blast.

"The blast was caused by explosives placed inside the mosque," Kabul police spokesman Khalid Zadran told AFP Thursday, adding that 33 people had been injured in the blast.

Witnesses had told Reuters the powerful explosion was heard in a northern Kabul neighbourhood, shattering windows in nearby buildings. read more

The Italian non-governmental organisation Emergency, which operates a hospital in Kabul, said on Wednesday evening it had received 27 victims from the blast, including three fatalities.

Most of the patients were "suffering from shell and burn injuries", it said via email.

In a later tweet, the hospital said five children were among those it treated, including a seven-year-old.

Wednesday's blast comes nearly a week after a suicide attack killed top Taliban cleric Rahimullah Haqqani, who was killed along with his brother at his madrassa in Kabul.

Haqqani was known for angry speeches against IS, which later claimed the attack.

The Taliban say they have defeated Daesh, but experts claim the group remains a key security challenge for the group.

The blast came as senior Taliban leaders on Thursday led a major gathering of more than 2,000 religious clerics and elders in the southern city of Kandahar, the movement's de factor power base.

In a statement sent to the media, a Taliban spokesman said "important decisions will be taken in the conference".