Kandahar mosque attack
Another deadly day in Afghanistan! Multiple bomb explosions have ripped through a Shia mosque during the Friday prayers in the city of Kandahar, leaving dozens of worshippers dead. More than 40 people are confirmed dead so far while dozens more injured after three back-to-back explosions hit Imam Bargah mosque. Hospital sources say the death toll could rise further. According to a Taliban official, the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber. Eyewitnesses, however, say there were several assailants with one of them blowing himself up inside the mosque. The witnesses say two more attackers detonated their bombs in crowded areas outside the main building. They say they also heard gunfire. No group has yet claimed responsibility. Last Friday, more than 50 Shia worshippers lost their lives after a Daesh-claimed blast hit a mosque in the northern city of Kunduz.
Lebanon day of mourning
A funeral ceremony has been held in Beirut for some of the victims of Thursday’s attack on a protest rally in the Lebanese capital. The Lebanese government has declared Friday a national day of mourning. Seven people were killed and dozens wounded after a protest came under gun and bomb attacks. The protest was called by the resistance movement Hezbollah and the Amal Movement against a judge investigating last year's devastating Beirut port blast. The protesters accused the judge of being under US influence. At least nine people have been arrested in connection with the violence. Earlier, Hezbollah and Amal blamed members of a Christian party, Lebanese Forces, for being behind the attacks, saying they had planned the confrontation in advance. New reports say interior ministry officials have unanimously agreed on that narrative. President Michel Aoun has also pledged to hold the perpetrators to account.
Russia-China naval drills
Russia and China are holding joint naval drills in the Sea of Japan, in the latest sign of growing military cooperation between the two countries. The drills, that kicked off with a ceremony on Thursday in Russia’s Peter the Great Gulf, will run until Sunday. China has sent anti-submarine warfare planes and destroyers among other vessels to take part in the maneuver. Russia is using warships, minesweepers, a submarine, fighter jets, and choppers. According to the Russian foreign ministry, the two fleets on Friday practiced how to cooperate together and destroy floating enemy mines with artillery fire. Relations between Russia and China have grown in recent years amid tensions with the West, especially the US that has been on collision course with both Moscow and Beijing.