Afghanistan: An explosion ripped through a mosque inside an Afghan army base in the country’s volatile eastern Khost province as Friday prayers were drawing to a close, killing at least 27 soldiers and wounding at least 79, the Afghan military said.
The blast may have been set off by a suicide bomber or a remotely detonated bomb but nothing was officially confirmed and details were sketchy. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the explosion.
President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack in a statement as “anti-Islamic and inhumane.” He also wanted to know how the army’s security was breached, demanding a swift investigation and the officials responsible held accountable.
It was the latest in a relentless, near-daily onslaughts in Afghanistan, where the Taliban regularly target Afghan military and police forces throughout the country.
“There were soldiers lying everywhere and the smoke was so thick, it was difficult to see,” said Abdullah, a spokesman at the base. Like most Afghans, he uses only one name. He spoke by phone from the base.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
On Saturday, Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in Khost.