İrem UZUN-TDO- Sixty-two people have died after an explosion at a mosque in eastern Afghanistan caused the roof to collapse on worshippers gathered for Friday prayers. The attack underscored the record numbers of civilians dying in the country’s 18-year war. Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province, said the militant attack wounded 36 others. He said it was not immediately clear whether the mosque was attacked by a suicide bomber or it was some other type of bombing. “Both men and children are among those killed and wounded in the attack,” he said.
Eyewitnesses reported hearing a loud explosion, before the roof of the mosque caved in. According to Afghanistan's Tolo News, a number of explosives are believed to have been used. Local police officer Tezab Khan said he could hear the sound of the Mullah preaching but "suddenly his voice was silenced with a boom". "When I arrived on the scene, people were trying to bring out the bodies and injured who were stuck under the fallen roof," he added. Sohrab Qaderi, a member of the provincial council in Nangarhar, warned the number of casualty was likely to rise as people were "working to bring out the bodies from the rubble".
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but both the Taliban and Islamic State are active in eastern Afghanistan, especially Nangarhar province. However, the Taliban’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid condemned the attack in a statement and called it a serious crime.