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Explosion at Shia mosque in Afghanistan’s Mazar-i-Sharif leaves casualties

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The file photo shows the aftermath of an explosion at a mosque in Afghanistan.

A large explosion has hit a Shia mosque in Afghanistan’s northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, killing at least five people and wounding several dozen others.

Mohammad Asif Wazeri, the spokesman for the Taliban commander in Mazar-i-Sharif, told Reuters that the blast happened inside a Shia mosque in the 2nd District on Thursday, leaving more than 20 killed and injured.

Hospital sources said at least five people were killed and several dozen injured as the explosion went off when worshipers were saying their prayers at the mosque, adding that some of the wounded were in critical condition.

The sources further said all hospital rooms were filled to capacity and there were no free beds at the moment.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Afghanistan has seen relative calm since the Taliban, who had previously ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, took power again on August 15 last year and subsequently announced the formation of a caretaker government.

The group’s resurgence came amid the hasty and chaotic departure of American forces from the country.

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