A gunman kills 6 worshippers inside a Shia mosque in western Afghanistan, the Taliban say

AP , Tuesday 30 Apr 2024

A gunman stormed a mosque in western Afghanistan, opening fire and killing six people as they were praying, a Taliban official said Tuesday. Local media reports and a former president of Afghanistan said the mosque was targeted because it was a place of worship for members of the country’s Shia Muslim minority.

Taliban fighters
File Photo: Taliban fighters stand guard in Kabul. AP

 

According to Abdul Mateen Qani, a spokesman for the Taliban Interior Ministry, the attack happened on Monday night in the district of Guzara in Herat province. He said in a post on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, that an investigation was underway.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which also wounded another worshipper, and the attacker fled the scene. Local media reported that the mosque's imam was among those killed.

“I strongly condemn the attack on the Imam Zaman Mosque,” former Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on X. “I consider this terrorist act against all religious and human standards.”

The Islamic State group’s affiliate in Afghanistan is a major Taliban rival and frequently targets schools, hospitals, mosques and Shia areas throughout the country.

The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021, during the last weeks of the chaotic departure of U.S. and NATO troops from the country after 20 years of war.

Despite initial promises of a more moderate stance, the Taliban gradually reimposed a harsh interpretation of Islamic law, or Shariah, as they did during their previous rule of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.

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