Kabul | Jagran World Desk: At least 100 people have been killed and wounded in a mosque explosion targeting Shiite Muslims in northern Afghanistan on Friday, a Taliban police official said as quoted by international news agency AP. The official, Dost Mohammad Obaida said the “majority of them have been killed.” 

The Taliban has claimed that the attack was a part of suicide bombing, as reported by news agency AFP. 

There was no immediate claim for the blast in Kunduz province, but Islamic State militants have a long history of attacking Afghanistan's Shiite Muslim minority.

If confirmed, the death toll in Friday's attack would be the highest in an attack by militants since U.S. and NATO troops left Afghanistan at the end of August and the Taliban took control of the country.

Earlier, Taliban chief spokesman Zabihullah Muhajid tweeted the news and wrote “This afternoon, an explosion took place in a mosque of our Shiite compatriots in the Khan Abad district of Bandar, the capital of Kunduz province, as a result of which a number of our compatriots were martyred and wounded." 

The rescue operations are underway as the injured people are being ferried to the hospital.

This comes after suspected Taliban fighters entered Gurdwara Karte Parwan, the main Sikh shrine in the Afghanistan capital, on Tuesday and damaged CCTV cameras and broke several locks, according to members of the Afghan Sikh minority.

Puneet Singh Chandhok, head of the Indian World Forum, confirmed the news tweeting that armed men had entered the gurdwara and “vandalised” it.

The armed men who entered the gurdwara were believed to be Taliban members.

Hundreds of members of the Sikh and Hindu minorities had taken refuge in Gurdwara Karte Parwan, after the Taliban marched into Kabul on August 15. Taliban commanders assured Sikh leaders about the safety of the members of their community soon after the take over of power.

However, Nearly 240 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus were barred from entering Kabul airport to board the last military evacuation flight from the Afghan capital.

Meanwhile, the Indian government has said it will take all steps to facilitate the evacuation of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus who want to leave Afghanistan.

(With inputs from AP)

Posted By: Sugandha Jha