Blast at Mosque Near Afghan Interior Ministry: Spokesman

A blast tore through a mosque in the neighborhood of Afghanistan’s interior ministry in Kabul on Wednesday, a spokesman said.

Ministry spokesman Abdul Nafy Takor said the explosion took place “in a mosque which is at a distance from the ministry of interior, where visitors and some of the employees of the ministry pray.”

He did not give an indication of casualty figures or the exact distance from ministry grounds but said an investigation was ongoing.

The blast comes after a suicide bombing on Friday killed 53 people in a Kabul classroom, including 46 girls and women, according to a UN death toll.

Witnesses said the attacker blew himself up in the women’s section of a gender-segregated classroom of a study hall in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood — an enclave of the historically oppressed Shiite Hazara community.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for that attack, which Taliban authorities said claimed only 25 lives.

However, the jihadist group Islamic State which considers Shiites heretics has carried out several deadly attacks in the same area targeting girls, schools, and mosques.

The Taliban were also accused of plotting attacks on the Hazara community as they waged a two-decade insurgency against the old US-led regime, which collapsed last August.

The hardcore Islamists’ return to power in Afghanistan last year brought an end to that insurgency and a dramatic decline in violence.

The Taliban movement — made up primarily of ethnic Pashtuns — has pledged to protect minorities and clamp down on security threats.

However attacks have ramped up in recent months.

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