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Two Killed In Blast Outside Kabul Mosque

Taliban government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid (file photo)

A Taliban official says that Afghan civilians have been killed by an explosion outside a Kabul mosque where a prayer ceremony for his own mother was to be held.

"A bomb blast rocked a gathering of civilians near the entrance of the Eidgah Mosque in Kabul this afternoon, unfortunately leaving a number of civilians dead," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid wrote on Twitter on October 3.

Sayed Khosty, who heads the press and public relations department for the caretaker Interior Ministry of the Taliban-led government, said in a WhatsApp message sent to RFE/RL that two people were killed and two injured by the blast.

Khosty said three people had been arrested in connection with the attack.

Taliban spokesman Mujahid had earlier announced on Twitter that a prayer ceremony for the death of his mother would be held at the Eidgah Mosque in Kabul from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on October 3.

Following the blast the area around the mosque was cordoned off by the Taliban, who maintained a heavy security presence.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. However, since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August, attacks by Islamic State (IS) group militants against them have increased.

IS maintains a strong presence in the eastern province of Nangarhar and considers the Taliban an enemy. IS has claimed several attacks against the Taliban, including several killings in the provincial capital of Jalalabad.

The October 3 attack in Kabul is the first to target the capital since late August, when an IS suicide bomber targeted U.S. evacuation efforts outside Kabul's international airport. The blast killed 169 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members.

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