• Wednesday, Jul 08, 2020
  • Last Update : 02:23 pm

Villagers search for bodies after 70 killed in Afghan mosque blast

  • Published at 01:33 pm October 20th, 2019
File Photo: Men carry an injured person to a hospital after a bomb blast at a mosque, in Jalalabad, Afghanistan October 18, 2019 Reuters

The attack -- the country's second most deadly this year -- took place in Haska Mina district of eastern Nangarhar province

Villagers searched for the bodies of their loved ones on Saturday in the rubble of a mosque in eastern Afghanistan that collapsed in a blast during Friday prayers, killing 70 people including dozens of children, officials said.

The attack -- the country's second most deadly this year -- took place in Haska Mina district of eastern Nangarhar province and also wounded at least 36 people.

"We have reports that the death toll has reached 70 in yesterday's incident," the provincial governor's spokesman Attaullah Khogyani told AFP.

"We have sent assistance to the district that includes food and other items," he said.

Witnesses said the roof of the mosque fell through after a "loud" explosion, the cause of which was still being investigated Khogyani said. 

At least 27 of the victims were school children, said Asif Shinwari, a spokesman for Nangarhar's education department.

"They were ninth-to tenth-graders. Sixteen school children were wounded," he told AFP, adding that children usually studied at the mosque after prayers.

About 350 worshippers were inside the mosque when the blast happened, according to local residents.

"We are still searching for bodies. Most of those who were killed were children or young boys under 18," resident Omar Ghorzang said.

Donya Gul, another local resident who lost a brother and eight cousins in the incident, also said some people were still missing. 

"They buried the bodies yesterday and they buried the bodies today... We are searching for at least five more people. We might only find the pieces of their bodies," he said.

No one has claimed responsibility for the blast. A spokesman for the Islamist extremist Taliban said the group "condemned this atrocity in the strongest terms" and labelled it a "major crime".

The Islamic State group is also active in Nangarhar.

The attack came after the United Nations released a report on Thursday saying an "unprecedented" number of civilians were killed or wounded in Afghanistan from July to September.

The figures -- 1,174 deaths and 3,139 injured from July 1 until September 30 -- represent a 42% increase compared to the same period last year.

The UN laid most of the blame for the spike at the feet of "anti-government elements" such as the Taliban, who have been carrying out an insurgency in Afghanistan for more than 18 years.

The Taliban rejected the report.

blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail