Deadly explosion hits Mosque in Kabul

KABUL (Al Jazeera): Two people, including a senior muslim preacher, were killed and at least 16 wounded after an explosion in a mosque during Friday prayers in the Afghan capital.

The explosion took place around 01:20pm (08:50 GMT) and targeted the al-Taqwa mosque at a time when dozens had gathered for afternoon prayers.

Jan Agha, a district police official, said the bomb was planted in the microphone used by the prayer leader, MawlawiSamiullahRaihan, during Friday prayers.

“Unfortunately in the blast, MawlawiRaihan has been martyred and 16 other worshippers were wounded,” said NasratRahimi, spokesperson for the interior ministry.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack but the Taliban and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) groups regularly stage attacks in the country’s capital.

Earlier this month, the Taliban attacked the offices of Counterpart International in Kabul, an NGO headquartered in the United States that has been operating in Afghanistan since 2005.

The Taliban has stepped up attacks across the country, even as it holds direct negotiations with officials from the US to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan.