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Attack of a Shiite mosque in Kabul claimed by the EI: 20 dead

Ⓒ AFP – WAKIL KOHSAR – | Afghans help one of their injured friends during the attack by men armed with a Shiite mosque in Kabul on August 25, 2017

Twenty people were killed Friday in an attack by armed men of a Shiite mosque in Kabul in full prayer Friday, claimed by the Islamic State (EI) group.

“We have 20 dead and more than 50 wounded,” said a Ministry of Health official, Mohammad Ismail Kawoosi. A previous report found 12 dead.

The attack on the place of worship, which lasted about four hours and was declared completed only at the end of the afternoon, was claimed by the EI via its Amaq propaganda organ.

Ⓒ AFP – WAKIL KOHSAR – | Members of the Afghan security forces near the site of a suicide attack on 25 August 2017 in Kabul

“Two + inghimasi + of the Islamic state are conducting an attack on a husseiniya (Shiite place of worship) in the Khair Khana area in the Afghan city of Kabul,” the EI said.

The term + inghimasi + is used to refer to the one who fights with hand weapons with an explosive belt around the body, operated as a last resort.

“The attack is over and the site has been cleaned up by the police,” a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, Najib Danish, told AFP
The attackers, three according to him, were slaughtered, he added. A policeman and a member of the special forces were also killed, “he said.

It was not known at the moment how many people were in the mosque at the time of the attack by the armed men. The police had previously indicated that a suicide bomber had “blown up inside the building”.

Worshipers outside the mosque tried unsuccessfully to join their loved ones inside, an AFP journalist said during the attack.

Ⓒ AFP – Stephan TWAROG – | Attack on a Shiite mosque

“Our relatives are stuck inside the mosque, we call them and their phones do not answer … We think they were taken hostage by the assailants and we are very worried, one of them.

Others said they saw people try to break windows to escape and begged the security forces to launch the assault on the building.

– Ambulances and police forces –

“One attacker exploded and three others managed to enter the mosque. The fighters lacked ammunition and used knives to strike the faithful,” a witness told AFP.

They were entrenched in the section reserved for women, told AFP Sayed Jan Agha an employee of the mosque whose mother was locked inside.

Ⓒ AFP – WAKIL KOHSAR – | Members of the Afghan security forces near the site of a suicide attack on 25 August 2017 in Kabul

More than a dozen ambulances were on site, where the forces of order also deployed in numbers.

This new attack came three days after the announcement by US President Donald Trump of the maintenance and possible strengthening of the US military presence in Afghanistan to the tune of several thousand men.

The Taliban have in return promised a fierce battle “as long as there is a single American soldier on our soil, and they continue to impose war on us.” They claimed two days later a car bomb attack that left five dead in the south of the country.

Ⓒ AFP – WAKIL KOHSAR – | Members of the Afghan security forces near the site of a suicide attack on 25 August 2017 in Kabul

The security situation has deteriorated sharply in recent months in Kabul, where the last large-scale attack occurred on 24 July, when a car bomb blast killed at least 27 people and wounded more than 40 people Of the Hazara Shiite community. The attack was claimed by the Taliban.

The Shiite community, frequently targeted in recent months, accuses the security forces of not knowing how to protect it. The jihadists of the EI claimed early August the attack in full prayer of a Shiite mosque of Herat (west), during which at least 33 people had been killed.

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