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Taliban official: At least 100 dead, injured in Afghan blast

A Taliban police officer says at least 100 people have been killed and injured in a mosque explosion targeting Shia Muslims in northern Afghanistan. “Most of them are killed”, says Dost Mohamed Obaidah. There were no immediate claims for the blast in Kunduz province, but Islamic State militants have a long history of attacking Afghanistan’s Shia Muslim minority.

If confirmed, the death toll in Friday’s attack would be the highest among militants as US and NATO troops left Afghanistan in late August and the Taliban took control of the country.

People carry the body of a victim from a mosque following Friday’s bombings in Kunduz province, northern Afghanistan. (AP)

Several people were killed on Friday in a powerful explosion at a mosque by a religious minority group in northern Afghanistan, a Taliban spokesman said on Friday.

The blast took place at the Gojar-e-Saeed Abad mosque during weekly Friday prayers at a Shia mosque in Kunduz province, when members of the Shia religious minority turn up in large numbers for worship. Witness Ali Raza said he was praying at the time of the blast and reported several casualties.

Videos and photos on social media and elsewhere show people searching a destroyed mosque and carrying the body of a worshiper in an ambulance from the horrific scene.

A man walks down the blood-stained stairs of a mosque after a bomb exploded in Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan. (AP)

Taliban’s chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said a Shia mosque was targeted and a large number of worshipers were killed and injured. He said Taliban special forces have reached the spot and are investigating the incident.

The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear. So far no group has claimed responsibility.

The Taliban leadership is battling a threat linked to the local Islamic State, known as the Islamic State in Khorasan. IS militants have intensified attacks to target their rivals, including two deadly bombings in Kabul.

IS has also targeted Afghanistan’s religious minorities in attacks.

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