Blast at Kabul mosque "kills at least 50"


A powerful blast hit a mosque in western Kabul during prayers on Friday, killing at least 50, its leader said, amidst a spate of attacks on Afghan places of worship and civilian targets during Ramadan.

Besmullah Habib, deputy spokesman for the interior ministry, said the blast had hit the Khalifa Sahib Mosque in western Kabul at around 2 pm local time (1000 GMT). He put the official death toll at 10, with 15 injured.

One man, who was inside the mosque at the time, said a huge blast tore through the building during prayers, the explosion burning his feet and hands.

Mohammad Sabir, a resident in the area, said he had seen people being loaded into ambulances after the explosion. "The blast was very loud, I thought my eardrums were cracked," he said.

 A nurse at a nearby hospital who declined to be named said they had received several injured people in critical condition from the attack.

Scores of Afghan civilians have been killed in recent weeks in blasts.

One tore through a mosque during Friday prayers last week, in the city of Kunduz, killing 33 people.

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