21 killed, 33 wounded in mosque explosion in Kabul

A huge explosion struck a mosque in Kabul during evening prayers. Many people are feared to be dead or injured.

 Afghan policemen inspect inside a Sikh religious complex after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan March 25, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMMAD ISMAIL)
Afghan policemen inspect inside a Sikh religious complex after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan March 25, 2020
(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMMAD ISMAIL)

A huge explosion struck a mosque in Kabul during evening prayers on Wednesday, witnesses and police said, with 21 people killed and 33 people wounded, according to Kabul police spokesperson.

Police said there were multiple casualties but did not say how many. One Taliban intelligence official told Reuters that as many as 35 people may have been wounded or killed, and the toll could rise further. Al Jazeera quoted an unidentified official as giving a death toll of 20.

Witnesses told Reuters the powerful explosion was heard in a northern Kabul neighborhood, shattering windows in nearby buildings. Ambulances rushed to the spot.

 TALIBAN SUPPORTERS celebrate on Monday in Kabul on the first anniversary of the fall of the Afghan capital. (credit: ALI KHARA/REUTERS) TALIBAN SUPPORTERS celebrate on Monday in Kabul on the first anniversary of the fall of the Afghan capital. (credit: ALI KHARA/REUTERS)

"A blast happened inside a mosque.... the blast has casualties, but the numbers are not clear yet," Kabul police spokesman Khalid Zadran told Reuters.

What is the Taliban saying about the explosion?

The Taliban intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the explosion occurred in a mosque among worshippers in the Khair Khana area of Kabul.

The Imam of the mosque was among those killed and the toll could still rise, the source added. Intelligence teams were at the blast site and investigations were ongoing.

Other officials in the Taliban government did not reply to multiple requests to confirm the number of casualties.

This is a developing story.