The Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-K) claimed responsibility on Friday for the mosque attack in the city of Kunduz in Afghanistan where at least 100 people were killed and injured. The terror group said that the executor of the attack was an Uighur.
In a statement released on its Telegram channels, the Islamic State said that an IS suicide bomber "detonated an explosive vest amid a crowd" of Shiite worshippers who had gathered inside the mosque, reported AFP.
The statement identified the bomber as "Muhammad al-Uyguri", implying he was a member of China's mainly-Muslim Uighur minority saying the attack targeted both Shiites and the Taliban for their purported willingness to expel Uighers to meet demands from China.
Deadliest Attack Since the US Troops Left Afghanistan
Labelled as one of the deadliest attacks in the country since Taliban took control of Afghanistan, the attack took place in a mosque, Gozar-e-Sayed Abad Mosque, which is used by the minority Shi'ite Muslim community. The blast occurred during the weekly Friday prayer service, when members of the Shiite religious minority typically come in large numbers for worship.
Video footage showed bodies surrounded by debris inside the Gozar-e-Sayed Abad Mosque that is used by people from the minority Shia Muslim community, reported Al Jazeera.
As reported by The Los Angeles Times, the blast blew out windows, charred the ceiling and scattered debris and twisted metal across the floor. Rescuers carried one body out on a stretcher and another in a blanket. Bloodstains covered the front steps.
Conflicting Reports About the Number of Casualties
The United Nations mission to Afghanistan said in a tweet the blast killed and wounded more than 100 people.
Dost Mohammad Obaida, the deputy police chief for Kunduz province, also said at least 100 people were killed or wounded in the attack, adding that the "majority of them have been killed".
Meanwhile, the state-run Bakhtar News Agency said at least 46 people were killed, while more than 140 were wounded inside the mosque in the Khan Abad area of Kunduz city.
Attack Targeting Religious Institutions
A prominent Shiite cleric, Sayed Hussain Alimi Balkhi, condemned the attack and called on the Taliban to provide security for the Shiites of Afghanistan.
"We expect the security forces of the government to provide security for the mosques since they collected the weapons that were provided for the security of the worship places," he said, according to ABC News.
The United Nations mission in Afghanistan condemned the attack as "part of a disturbing pattern of violence" targeting religious institutions.