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mosque explosion kills at least 33

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At least 33 people, including children, were killed and 43 others injured in an explosion that hit a Sufi mosque during Friday prayers April 22 in northern Afghanistan, the Taliban said, a day after two bloody attacks claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.

“The explosion occurred in a mosque in the Imam Sahib district of Kunduz, causing the death of 33 civilians including childrengovernment spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter. We condemn this crime (…) and express our deepest sympathy to those bereaved.”.

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Images posted on social networks, which could not be immediately verified, showed the walls holed by impacts of the Mawlavi Sikandar mosque, frequented by Sufis. Jihadist groups such as the Islamic State group have a deep hatred for this Muslim current which they consider heretical and which they accuse of polytheism for having asked for the intercession of dead saints.

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Shia Afghans have long been the target of Daesh

This explosion comes the day after two attacks claimed by the Islamic State group in Afghanistan, which in total left at least 16 dead and dozens injured. Twelve worshipers died and 58 were injured in an attack Thursday against a Shiite mosque in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif (north). On the same day, at least four people were killed and 18 injured in Kunduz when a bomb exploded on a bicycle as a vehicle carrying civilian mechanics working for a Taliban military unit passed.

However, no group has yet claimed responsibility for the two explosions that occurred Tuesday in a boys’ school in a Shiite district of Kabul, which left six dead and more than 25 injured.

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Shia Afghans, mostly from the Hazara community which constitutes between 10 and 20% of the 38 million inhabitants of Afghanistan, have long been the target of Daesh, which also sees them as heretics. Taliban officials insist their forces have defeated the Islamic State group, but analysts say the jihadist organization still poses a major security threat to Afghanistan.

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