At least 62 people were killed and “nearly 60” others were wounded in two blasts inside a mosque in Nangarhar province during Friday prayers, confirmed Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the Nangarhar governor.
The mosque is in the Jaw Dara area of the Haska Meyna district of Nangarhar.
The incident took place at approximately 01:30 pm, Khogyani said.
According to officials, explosives were placed inside the mosque and detonated when the worshipers were busy in prayer.
Many wounded people are not in a stable condition, Khogyani said.
Sediq Sediqqi, President Ghani’s spokesman, in a tweet strongly condemned today’s blasts and called out the Taliban for continuing to target civilians.
The Taliban has denied responsibility for the blasts.
For the first nine months of 2019, according to the UNAMA report, 2,563 civilians–including 261 women and 631 children–were killed, and 5,676 civilians–including 662 women and 1,830 children–were wounded.
These numbers are the highest of any nine-month period since 2014.
The Afghan government has expressed concern over the high civilian death toll in Afghanistan, and the office of the National Security Council of Afghanistan says that efforts to reduce civilian casualties have begun.
“The UNAMA report once again proved that the Taliban and other terrorist groups are the main culprit in killing our defenseless civilians,” said Mohammad Kabir Haqmal, spokesman for National Security Council.
A number of politicians and former government officials have called the casualties shocking and have insisted on preventing civilian casualties.
“Victims of this dirty war are mainly Afghan children, women and civilians who die in the bombings, same as the other party (insurgents) that kills,” said former National Security Advisor Rangin Dadfar Spanta.
“Civilians must be safe and civilian casualties must be avoided, neither the opposition nor the government should use civilians as their shields,” said Qaribullah Sadat, member of Logar provincial council.