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Funerals Held For Victims Of Kandahar Mosque Bombing Claimed By IS-K


Afghans Bury Loved Ones Killed In Mosque Bombing
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WATCH: Afghans Bury Loved Ones Killed In Mosque Bombing

A mass funeral was held in Afghanistan's southern city of Kandahar on October 16 for some of more than 40 people killed the previous day when suicide bombers attacked a crowded Shi'ite mosque during Friday Prayers.

The Islamic State-Khorasan Province (IS-K) has claimed responsibility for the October 15 attack.

The terrorist group said that two suicide bombers carried out separate attacks on different parts of the mosque while worshippers prayed inside.

"The first suicide bomber detonated his explosive a mosque hallway, while the second suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest in the mosque's center," IS-K said in a statement released on its Telegram channels.

A health official said on October 16 that the casualty toll from the attack stood at 41 dead and 70 wounded, but the toll could still rise further.

"Some of the wounded are in a critical condition and we are trying to transfer them to Kabul," he told Reuters.

The assault came a week after a deadly suicide attack on Shi’ite worshippers at a mosque in northern Kunduz. IS-K claimed responsibility for that bombing, which killed scores of Shi'ite worshippers.

Photographs and mobile-phone footage of the Kandahar attack posted by journalists on social media showed many people dead or seriously wounded on the floor of Kandahar's Imam Bargah Mosque.

An eyewitness quoted by AP said four suicide bombers had attacked the mosque. The witness said two detonated their explosives at a security gate, allowing the other two to run inside the compound and detonate their explosives among the congregation of worshippers.

IS-K, an extremist Sunni group that opposes Afghanistan's Sunni Taliban rulers, considers Shi'ite Muslims to be apostates.

The group has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly bombings that have targeted Shi'ite Muslims across the country since the Taliban seized power in August amid the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces.

IS-K has also targeted Taliban fighters in smaller attacks.

Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi says an investigation into the Kandahar mosque bombing is under way.

The Taliban on October 16 took charge of security for the mosque, which previously had been provided by guards from the Shi'ite community, according to the Taliban's police chief in Kandahar, Maulvi Mehmood.

Taliban authorities have played down the threat from IS-K. But repeated attacks have tarnished the group's claim to have brought peace to Afghanistan after decades of war.

With additional reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP
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