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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Four people killed in bomb attack on Friday prayers at Afghan mosque

Afghan security forces rushed to the scene of the blast [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 June, 2020

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Four people have been killed in a bomb explosion at the Sher Shah Suri mosque in Kabul during Friday prayers, as the Taliban and the Afghan government continue negotiations.

At least four people were killed after a blast ripped through a crowd during Friday prayers at a mosque in Kabul, Afghan officials said, in the latest attack on the city ahead of potential talks with Taliban insurgents.

"Based on our initial information, at around noon explosives placed inside the mosque detonated during Friday prayers," interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said in a message to journalists.

A health ministry spokesman also confirmed the toll, saying the prayer leader and three worshippers were killed at the Sher Shah Suri mosque, while several others were wounded.

The attack comes a week after an Islamic State-claimed attack killed two people, including a popular prayer leader, at a mosque on the edge of Kabul's heavily fortified green zone.

Afghanistan is juggling multiple crises, with the coronavirus rapidly spreading across the country and continuing violence even as the government and the Taliban signal they are getting closer to sitting down for talks.

Read also: Doves starve at famed Afghan mosque shuttered due to virus

President Ashraf Ghani vowed on Thursday to complete a Taliban prisoner release, which is a key condition to the launch of peace talks with the insurgents.

Once the swap is done, the two sides have pledged to begin negotiations that could end nearly 19 years of war.

The Taliban have largely refrained from launching major attacks on Afghan cities since February, when they signed a deal with the US meant to pave the way for peace talks with the Kabul government.

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