Suicide blast at Kabul mosque during major Shia festival

Suicide blast at Kabul mosque during major Shia festival
A blast targeting a mosque in Kabul has killed at least 27 Afghans and injured 35 others, as worshipers gathered for an important Shia festival.
1 min read
21 November, 2016
Violence in Afghanistan has increased this year [Getty]
A massive suicide blast at a Shia mosque in Kabul killed at least 27 people Monday and wounded 35 as the worshippers gathered to mark a religious ceremony, officials said.

"It was a suicide bomber who blew himself up among worshippers inside the mosque, killing 27 and wounding 35," senior police official Fridon Obaidi said.

Police cordoned off the area around the Baqirul Olum mosque in the west of the Afghan capital.

Earlier this year the Taliban escalated nationwide attacks, underscoring the worsening security situation and the heavy price paid by civilians since NATO forces ended their combat mission at the end of 2014.

IS have also been gaining some support in the war-torn country.  

Shia-Muslims from the Hazaras ethnic minority have been a particular target, with dozens killed when militants detonated explosives in a crowd of peaceful protesters in Kabul last July.

Meanwhile, around 20 million Shia-Muslims have descended on Iraq's holy city of Karbala for the Arbaeen commemoration of Hussein's death, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed.

Despite the security risk from IS, the event has so far not seen any attacks from militants thanks in part to heavy security.