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Casualties rise to 32 killed, over 60 wounded in Herat Mosque bombing

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AT-KABUL: The death toll from Herat mosque attack jumped from 29 to at least 32, and over 66 other received injures after two suicide bombers attacked Jawadiya mosque full of worshipers in Bakrabad area of Herat city, provincial official said.

Spokesman for Health Public Health Directorate, Rafiq Shirzai, said that death increased to 32 people, while 66 other received injuries. “15 wounded people with serious injuries have been rushed to neighboring Iran for further medical treatment,” he added. Two children are among the killed, he said, adding that three other wounded in the attack.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemns attack at the Jawadiya mosque in Herat which killed at least 31 civilians, including 2 children, and injured more than 60 others.

Two attackers entered the Shiite Muslims’ mosque during the evening prayers time when several hundred worshippers were present, opening fire and detonating two suicides improvised explosive devices against the congregation.

“This attack deliberately targeting civilians at prayer can have no justification whatsoever,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan. “Fanning terror and sectarian violence against a specific community is abhorrent and those responsible must be brought to account.”

Places of worship and their congregations, as well as religious festivals, require authorities to have appropriate security measures in place, commensurate with the threat level facing communities, the statement added.

During 2016, UNAMA recorded four separate attacks against Shia mosques and religious gatherings. Islamic State – Khorasan province claimed responsibility for two of those attacks.

Tuesday’s attack in Herat is the fifth attack this year targeting Shia mosques, killing a total of at least 44 civilians and injuring at least 88, according to UNAMA. Four of the attacks occurred in Herat and the other in Kabul. Islamic State – Khorasan province claimed responsibility for two of these attacks.

International humanitarian law prohibits deliberate attacks against civilians and civilian objects, including places of worship.

UNAMA expresses its condolences to the victim’s families and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured.