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IS-K claims responsibility for Kandahar mosque attack: Toll mounts to 47
The suicide bomb attack inside Shias' Imam Bargah mosque in Kandahar city during Friday prayers was carried out by two IS-Khorasan attackers who they identified as Anas al-Khrasani and Abu Ali Al-Blushi, IS-K media Amaq said in a statement. There were over 300 people inside the mosque at the time: 47 died. Sunnis form an overwhelming majority in Afghanistan.

KABUL, Oct 16: The Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K) has claimed responsibility for the bomb attack in the Shia mosque in Kandahar city on Friday which claimed 47 lives and wounded another nearly 70 worshippers in the prayer hall. There were over 300 people inside the mosque at the time of the blast. A large majority of Muslims in Afghanistan belongs to the Sunni sect.

The statement by the media wing of the IS-K, Amaq, said that the attackers shot dead two guards before forcing their way in to the hall where prayers were being held. Three back-to-back explosions occurred inside the Imam Bargah mosque soon after. The two "Islamic State fighters," who entered the mosque and blew themselves up amongst the worshippers, were Anas al-Khrasani and Abu Ali Al-Blushi, Amaq said.

"The firing started after we ended the prayers," a man named Ahmadullah told AFP news agency. "Then two, three explosions took place. We were thrown towards the window. Many people, martyred or wounded, were lying there." Fifteen ambulances were rushed to the scene. Taliban forces stepped up security around the mosque. There were frantic appeals for blood.

Kandahar is Afghanistan's second largest city where the Taliban was founded. The attack by IS-K sets the record straight that they are not on good terms with the Taliban. A week ago, the previous Friday, a suicide attack on another Shia mosque during Friday prayers in the northern city of Kunduz killed about 100 pople. IS-K, an Afghan branch of the ISIS, is a Sunni Muslim jihadist group, the most violent in the country. Sunnis are an overwhelming majority. Earlier, the Kabul airport attack during the US pullout had claimed about 200 lives.

The UN mission in Kabul said on Twitter it "condemns latest atrocity targeting a religious institution & worshippers. Those responsible need to be held to account."

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