A suicide bomb attack on worshippers at a Shiite mosque in the Afghan city of Kunduz killed at least 55 people Friday, in the bloodiest assault since U.S. forces left the country.
Scores more victims from the minority community were wounded in the blast, which was claimed by the Islamic State group and appeared designed to further destabilise Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban takeover.
The extremist group, bitter rivals of the Taliban, has repeatedly targeted Shiites in a bid to stir up sectarian violence in Sunni-majority Afghanistan.
In a statement released on its Telegram channels, the Islamic State said that an IS suicide bomber “detonated an explosive vest amid a crowd” of Shiite worshippers who had gathered inside the mosque.
The statement identified the bomber as “Muhammad al-Uyguri”, implying he was a member of China’s mainly-Muslim Uyghur minority.
A medical source at Kunduz Provincial Hospital said that 35 dead and more than 55 wounded had been taken there, while Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said 20 dead and several dozen wounded were brought to its hospital.