More than two dozen people injured in Afghan mosque blast

Interior ministry spokesman put the wounded toll at 25, including one female member of the provincial council


Afp July 13, 2015
Afghan security forces stand at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan July 7, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

KABUL: At least 25 Afghan civilians were wounded when a bomb ripped through a crowd of worshippers waiting for food to break their Ramadan fast inside a mosque compound in northern Afghanistan Monday, officials said.

The violence comes a day after a suicide attacker killed 33 people in one of the deadliest day for civilians this year, as insurgents ramp up violence across the country.

Monday's bombing in the city of Puli Khumri, capital of Afghanistan's Baghlan province came as worshippers had finished their evening prayers in a local mosque and were waiting for food packages, provided by the local government, to break the dawn-til-dusk fast held throughout Ramazan.

"The explosives had been placed inside the mosque compound, and went off as the worshippers and poor people had gathered to receive the food packages," provincial police chief Abdul Jabar Purdeli told AFP.

Read: No let-up in violence: 30 killed in Afghan bomb blasts

"Twenty-eight people, the majority of them civilians, were injured. Four are in serious condition," he said.

Interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi put the wounded toll at 25, however, including one female member of the provincial council.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, though authorities pointed the finger at the Taliban.

Militants have been waging a fierce insurgency against the Western-backed government in Kabul since the toppling of their regime in 2001.

Also on Monday, two IEDs went off in the capital Kabul in back-to-back blasts.

No one was hurt in the explosions, police said.

Read: At least 18 killed in attack near Afghanistan military base

One of the detonations struck close to a popular bowling alley, while the second went off moments later near a shopping mall, according to witnesses.

On Sunday a suicide car bomber struck near a military base in eastern province of Khost, where Afghan and foreign soldiers are stationed, killing 33 people, most of them civilians.

Taliban insurgents launched a countrywide offensive in late April, stepping up attacks on government and foreign targets in what is expected to be the bloodiest fighting season in a decade.

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