Official: Bomb explodes in Kabul mosque, at least 4 killed

An Afghan official says a bomb has exploded inside a mosque in western Kabul, killing four people, including the prayer leader, and wounding eight

KABUL, Afghanistan -- A bomb exploded Friday inside a mosque in western Kabul, killing at least four people, including the prayer leader, and wounding eight, an Afghan government official said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said the bomb had been placed inside the mosque but had no additional details. Police cordoned off the area and helped move the wounded to ambulances and nearby hospitals.

Azizullah Mofleh Frotan was among the city's more prominent prayer leaders.

The United States blamed the IS affiliate for a horrific attack last month on a maternity hospital in Kabul that killed 24 people, including two infants and several new mothers. The hospital was located in the city's Shiite-dominated area of Dasht-e-Barchi.

The IS group, which reviles Shiites as heretics, has declared war on the country's minority Shiite Muslims, but has also attacked Sunni mosques. The mosque targeted on Friday is Sunni.

The IS affiliate also took responsibility for an attack on a bus carrying journalists in Kabul on May 30, killing two. It also claimed credit for an attack on the funeral of a warlord loyal to the government last month that killed 35 people.

Washington's peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad was in the region earlier this week, trying to resuscitate a U.S. peace deal with the Taliban, who are expected to eventually be enlisted in the fight against the IS affiliate.

Washington has previously said that the Taliban have been instrumental — along with Afghanistan's National Security and Defense Forces and U.S. air strikes — in reducing the IS's strength in eastern Afghanistan.


Associated Press writer Kathy Gannon in Islamabad contributed to this report.