At least 72 people, including women and children, have been killed and scores of others injured in two bomb attacks that targeted two Shia mosques in Afghanistan.
The first explosion rocked Imam Zaman mosque in the western district of Dasht-e-Barchi in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Friday as worshipers had gathered for prayers.
A top security official said security forces at the scene had removed at least 39 bodies, but the exact number of casualties was still unknown.
The second blast targeted a mosque in the central province of Ghor, leaving at least 33 people dead, said Iqbal Nezami, a spokesman for the Ghor provincial police.
The attack apparently targeted a local leader, who was among other worshipers.
The targeted official was a top local political and military leader of the Jamiat political party in Ghor, Balkh provincial governor Atta Mohammad Noor said in a statement.
The statement, however, said the local official was killed along with as many as 30 other worshipers.
No group has claimed responsibility for either attack.
Iran condemns deadly attacks in Afghanistan
In a statement issued on Friday night, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi strongly condemned the deadly bombings carried out by “blood-thirsty Takfiri terrorists” in Afghanistan, and offered his condolences to the Afghan government and nation as well as the victims’ families.
Such attacks are meant to foment religious strife and undermine Afghanistan’s security, Qassemi stated.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran will stand by the resilient Afghan government and nation until the complete eradication of violence, terror and insecurity against the wish of some extra-regional powers,” the Iranian official added.
Concerns are growing over what appears to be an alarming spread of Shia killings in Afghanistan.
Late last month, a bomber detonated an explosive device outside another Shia mosque in Kabul, killing at least six people. Daesh claimed the attack, which came just ahead of Ashura mourning rituals that mark the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (PBUH) and 72 of his companions in 680 AD.
In August, more than 40 Shia Muslims were killed in Kabul when Daesh terrorists attacked a mosque packed with worshipers.
Criticism has grown over Kabul’s failure to take proper measures to better protect its Shia Muslim population against terrorist attacks.