At least 2 people were killed in a bomb blast in a mosque in the Afghan province of Nangarhar on Friday. The incident took place during Friday prayers, a Taliban spokesman said earlier.
According to Tolo News, at least 17 people were injured in the incident, all of whom were parishioners.
Qari Hanif, a spokesman for the Nangarhar provincial government, said the bomb appeared to have been planted inside a mosque in Traili, located in the mountainous Spin Gar region outside the provincial capital of Jalalabad.
Photos taken by a resident and shared on social media showed three corpses, and the interior of the mosque was strewn with rubble and broken glass. Hanif did not immediately confirm the death.
This was the third major explosion of a mosque in Afghanistan in five weeks.
Nangarhar province is in eastern Afghanistan, where Islamic State militants are waging a campaign of violence. Earlier attacks occurred on Fridays last month, when suicide bombers and IS militants blew up worshipers from the Afghan Shiite Muslim minority, first in a mosque in Kunduz and then in a mosque in the southern city of Kandahar.
The blast this Friday targeted Sunni Muslims in the province, which was at the forefront of the battle between the Islamic State and the Taliban. ISIS fighters bombard Taliban militants in Nangarhar province almost every day.
Since coming to power in Afghanistan three months ago, the Taliban have been campaigning to suppress the insurgents, promising to crush the IS threat.
IS is the enemy of the Taliban. The two groups hold a rigid interpretation of Islam and have resorted to the same violent tactics over the years, such as suicide bombings. However, the Taliban have focused on seizing control of Afghanistan, while IS is pursuing a global jihad.
A Taliban intelligence official told reporters in Kabul on Wednesday that the agency had arrested some 600 IS members, including key figures and financial supporters. Spokesman Khalil Hamraz said at least 33 IS members were killed in shootouts with Taliban security forces.
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