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Gunmen kill seven Afghan worshippers in attack on mosque

Seven worshippers were killed in the attack on the mosque [Getty image for illustrative purposes]

Date of publication: 20 May, 2020

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Gunmen opened fire on worshippers praying in a mosque north of Kabul on Tuesday night, killing seven and wounding twelve, amid a spike in violence in Afghanistan.

Gunmen opened fire on worshippers offering evening prayers at a mosque north of the Afghan capital Kabul on Tuesday, killing at least seven people and wounding 12, a local police chief said.

The gunmen fled the area after the attack in Khelalzai village in the province of Parwan.

Parwan police chief Haroon Mubarez said the gunmen stormed the mosque when worshippers were offering evening prayers.

"Seven people have been killed and 12 wounded. The gunmen have fled the area," he told AFP.

It was unclear how many gunmen were involved in the attack.

The ministry of interior confirmed the incident but provided a slightly higher death toll, saying eight had been killed.

Also on Tuesday eight Afghan soldiers were killed while repelling a fierce Taliban attack on Kunduz, a strategic city in the country's north.

Violence has spiked in Afghanistan since the Taliban signed a deal with the United States in February, under which Washington said it would pull its troops out of the country in return for security guarantees from the militants.

The United Nations has blamed both the Taliban and Afghan security forces for unleashing violence that has seen a rise in civilian casualties.

The Taliban were responsible for 208 civilian casualties last month -- 25 percent more than in April 2019 -- the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a statement.

It said civilian casualties attributed to Afghan security forces in April numbered 172, an increase of 38 percent.

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