Afghanistan Mosque Attack Death Toll Reaches 29, ISIS Hand Suspected

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| August 2 , 2017 , 07:17 IST

The death toll in the attack on the Jawadya Mosque in Afghanistan's western city of Herat by a suicide bomber and a gunman has reached 29 and may rise further as 63 are wounded.

The mosque attack comes after the recent attack on the Iraqi embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, which was claimed by the ISIS (Islamic State) militant group. The attack on the Herat mosque marks the latest in a series of assaults made on the minority Shia population in Afghanistan.

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"The death toll has risen to 29 killed and 63 wounded. Some wounded are in a critical condition so the toll may go up," hospital spokesman Rafeeq Shirzai told AFP.

According to Herat police spokesman Abdul Ahad Walizada, the attack took place around 8:00 pm local time  (1530 GMT) when "a terrorist attack was carried out on a (Shia) mosque in the third security district of Herat city".

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"Based on our initial information two terrorists were involved, one of them wearing a suicide vest who detonated himself while the second one was armed with a rifle. They are both dead," he added.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack although the Taliban has specifically denied its involvement in the incident. Since ISIS has been targeting the Shia minority and mosques in Afghanistan over the past one year, ISIS is being viewed as the prime suspect in the recent attack.