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Blast at Afghan mosque kills 62 during prayers

Mosque bombing kills 62

An explosion rocked a mosque in eastern Afghanistan as dozens of people gathered for Friday prayers, causing the roof to collapse and killing 62 worshippers, provincial officials said. The attack underscored the record-high number of civilians dying in the country's 18-year war.

Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar Province, said the militant attack wounded 36 others. He said it was not immediately clear if the mosque was attacked by a suicide bomber or by some other type of bombing.

"Both men and children are among those killed and wounded in the attack," he said.

Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, strongly condemned the attack on his official Twitter account. "The Afghan government strongly condemns today's suicide attack in a mosque in Nangarhar province," he tweeted.

"The Taliban and their partners heinous crimes continue to target civilians in time of worship," he added.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but both the Taliban and the Islamic State group are active in eastern Afghanistan, especially Nangarhar province.

However, Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban's spokesman in a statement condemned the attack in Nangarhar and called it a serious crime.



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