Blast targets memorial service at mosque in Afghanistan’s Kabul

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the explosion at Eid Gah Mosque, but Taliban have come under increasing attacks from Daesh-Khorasan.

Daesh-K has claimed responsibility for a spate of bombings and attacks against the Taliban in recent weeks. (AP)

An explosion at a mosque in the Afghan capital Kabul killed at least five people.

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The bomb on Sunday targeted the sprawling Eid Gah Mosque, where a memorial service was being held for the mother of Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, who later tweeted the attack had claimed civilian lives.

“I heard the sound of an explosion near the Eid Gah Mosque followed by guns firing,” said Ahmadullah, a shopkeeper, who works nearby.

“Just ahead of the blast the Taliban had blocked the road to hold a prayer ceremony for Zabihullah Mujahid’s mother in the Eid Gah Mosque.”

Ambulances carrying the wounded were seen rushing towards Kabul’s Emergency Hospital in the Shahr-e Naw area.

The hospital said on Twitter that four patients were being treated.

Medical staff waited outside as people arrived in blood-stained clothes.

Taliban fighters were not harmed in the attack, another Taliban spokesperson Bilal Karimi said. Those killed in the attack were civilians outside the mosque gate.

He said three suspects were arrested and the investigation is ongoing.

A tussle with Daesh

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. However, since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August, attacks by Daesh-K (Khorasan) against them have increased.

The rise has raised the possibility of a wider conflict between Daesh-K and the Taliban.

Daesh-K maintains a strong presence in the eastern province of Nangarhar and considers the Taliban an enemy.

It has claimed several attacks against the Taliban, including several killings in the provincial capital of Jalalabad.

Attacks in Kabul have so far been rare, but in recent weeks Daesh-K has shown signs it is expanding its footprint beyond the east and closer toward the capital.

On Friday, Taliban fighters raided a Daesh-K hideout just north of Kabul in Parwan province.

The raid came after a Daesh-K roadside bomb wounded four Taliban fighters in the area.

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