Oct. 16 (UPI) — Three explosions rocked a mosque in Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar during prayers Friday, killing more than 50 people.
The attack occurred at the Shiite Imam Bargah mosque in Kandahar, officials said. It was the second consecutive attack during Friday prayers on a Shiite mosque in Afghanistan in a week.
Authorities said at least 50 people were killed and at least 100 injured in the blasts. Taliban police commander Abdul Ghafar Mohammadi told The Washington Post he expected the death toll to increase.
Hafiz Abdul Hai Abbas, health director for Kandahar province, told the Post that multiple “dead bodies remain under the ruined mosque.”
Last Friday, a similar attack in Kunduz killed and injured more than 100 people.
The timing of the new attack ensured that the mosque would be crowded for Friday prayers.
The Islamic State-Khorasan Province, an ISIS offshoot in Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for both last week’s and this week’s attacks.
ISIS-K is a militant rival to the Taliban and has targeted the group in recent months. The group was responsible for a suicide bombing attack in Kabul in August during the mass evacuation of U.S. forces and Afghan aides that killed 13 U.S. Marines.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid condemned the attack, saying those responsible would be “brought to justice,” according to CNN.