Bombing in Kabul killed 20 ppl

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KABUL: A bombing at a mosque in the Afghan capital of Kabul during evening prayers on Wednesday killed at least 20 people, including a prominent cleric, and wounded many others, an eyewitness and police said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the latest to strike the country in the year since the Taliban seized power. Several children were reported to be among the wounded.

The Islamic State group’s local affiliate has stepped up attacks targeting the Taliban and civilians since the former insurgents’ takeover last August as US and Nato troops were in the final stages of their withdrawal from the country.

Last week, the IS claimed responsibility for killing a prominent Taliban cleric at his religious center in Kabul. According to the eyewitness, a resident of the city’s Kher Khanna neighbourhood where the Siddiquiya Mosque was targeted, the explosion was carried out by a suicide bomber. The slain cleric was Mullah Amir Mohammad Kabuli, the eyewitness said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to the media.

He added that more than 30 other people were wounded. The Italian Emergency hospital in Kabul said that at least 27 wounded civilians, including five children, were brought there from the site of the bomb blast. There were fears the casualty numbers could rise further.

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