According to Kabul police, a blast that ripped through a mosque on Wednesday after evening prayers left 21 people dead. The UN has raised alarm about the rising number of civilian casualties from explosions.
Said to witnesses who spoke to Reuters, the bomb in a neighborhood in northern Kabul broke the windows of buildings near the mosque and resulted in 33 further injuries, according to police spokesperson Khalid Zadran.
Authorities did not officially attribute blame for the tragedy and no one made an early claim of guilt.
The war-torn nation has seen a general decline in bloodshed since the Taliban took control and toppled a U.S.-backed government a year ago. The group claimed to be restoring security to the nation. However, there have recently been a number of sizable attacks in metropolitan areas, some of which were claimed by the Islamic State.
In a series of tweets, the United Nations mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) denounced the explosion and expressed concern over a ‘disturbing’ series of explosions that have left more than 250 people dead or injured over the past few weeks, the highest monthly number of civilian casualties in the previous year.
“With security deteriorating, the U.N. calls on the de facto Taliban authorities to take concrete steps to prevent all forms of terrorism in Afghanistan,” UNAMA said.
Emergency Hospital, a facility run by an Italian NGO that specialises in treating victims of war, said in a statement it had admitted 27 people, including five children, who were wounded in the mosque blast. Two people had arrived dead and one patient died in the emergency room, Emergency’s Afghanistan country director Stefano Sozza said.
In August so far, the hospital has treated 80 patients from six different mass casualty events, which include blasts and mass shootings.
“The country is suffering the consequences of a very long conflict that has undermined its future,” Sozza said.