Militants attack Shiite mosque in Kabul

Militants attack Shiite mosque in Kabul

Militants attack Shiite mosque in Kabul

"We have 20 killed and more than 50 wounded", Mohammad Ismail Kawoosi, a health ministry official, told AFP, without specifying how many were civilians.

Many explosions were later heard from the area during the clearance operation by the Crisis Response Unit. The attack occurred as worshipers gathered for afternoon prayers on the Islamic holy day of Friday.

Rasouli said the death toll could rise because numerous wounded were seriously hurt.

He vowed that Afghanistan would stay united in the face of these attacks and that terrorism would be defeated.

Ministry of Interior spokesperson Najib Danish said at least three policemen were killed and eight wounded.

The remaining attackers stormed the mosque and fired on security forces. Worshippers, wounded and dead were being evacuated from the mosque.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

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No group has taken responsibility for the attack yet.

The attack was the latest by IS to hit the Afghan capital.

The assault comes less than 24 hours after Donald Trump's top military commander in Afghanistan vowed to expunge ISIS and al-Qaeda from the country.

Kabul police spokesman Abdul Basir Mujahid said a suicide bomber "detonated himself inside the mosque".

Others said the attackers had been armed with rocket propelled grenade launchers and had holed themselves up in the women's section of the mosque.

While the fierce gun battle was underway, another explosion occurred close to Imam Zaman Mosque. There was no immediate information on any casualties.

Militants attacked a Shiite mosque in Kabul on Friday. The mosque is located in a northern neighborhood of Kabul. Security forces have been unable to advance fearing even greater casualties. The assault was repulsed by the security forces with the help of the Afghan Air Force.

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