Afghanistan: 27 killed in suicide attack on mosque in Khost

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP Kabul, Afghanistan Nov 23, 2018, 06.58 PM (IST)

A suicide bomber blew himself up inside a packed mosque on an Afghan army base during Friday prayers, killing at least 27 people including several soldiers, officials said, in the latest bloody violence to rock the war-torn country.

At least 33 were wounded in the blast in the eastern province of Khost, which follows a wave of deadly attacks across Afghanistan in recent weeks as militants step up assaults amid a flurry of diplomatic efforts to end the 17-year conflict.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the Islamic State group has previously claimed most suicide attacks on mosques.  

The attacker detonated his explosives after prayers started but there is no clarity on whether he entered the mosque.

Provincial public health director Gul Ahmad Shah said three bodies and 44 wounded had been taken to the Khost city hospital. 

President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack as "un-Islamic" and "inhumane". 

A soldier, who was injured in the blast, said hundreds of worshippers were inside the mosque at the time of the attack. 

"When the explosion happened my leg and hand started bleeding," Mufti, who like many Afghans uses only one name, told AFP from his hospital bed in Khost city.

"I don't know how I got to the hospital." 

Story highlights

At least 33 were wounded in the blast in the eastern province of Khost, which follows a wave of deadly attacks across Afghanistan in recent weeks