(A7) A sizable blast has occurred in the Emam Bargha Ptima mosque in Kandahar, Afghanistan, The Washington Post reported.
The explosion, caused by a suicide bomber, left at least 32 dead, a local health official said.
Hafiz Abdul Hai Abbas, the director for provincial health directorate, told The Washington Post that the attack also wounded 45 others.
“Dead bodies remain under the ruined mosque,” Abbas said, noting that the death toll is expected to rise.
The bombing took place during Friday services, when the mosque would be at its most crowded.
No group has yet taken responsibility for the incident. However, BBC Afghanistan correspondent Secunder Kermani said IS-K, a local branch of the Islamic State Group, is expected to take responsibility for the attack.
Meanwhile, the Taliban, which rules Afghanistan, said it has sent special forces members to the site to investigate the blast, the Post added.
CNN quoted Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid, who condemned the incident and promised that the perpetrators will be “brought to justice.”
United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) tweeted: “Terrorism continues in Afghanistan with at least 30 killed, scores injured, in suicide attack at Kandahar’s largest Shia mosque at time of Friday prayers. UN condemns latest atrocity targeting a religious institution & worshipers. Those responsible need to be held to account.”
Officials are still investigating the incident and possible damages or casualties.
Last week, the ISIS terror group claimed responsibility for an explosion in a Shiite mosque last Friday. That explosion, which occurred in Afghanistan’s northeastern Kunduz province, left 46 people dead and wounded more than 140 others.