An explosion rocked a mosque on an Afghan army base during prayers on Friday, November 23, killing or wounding a number of soldiers, officials said, in the latest violence to hit the war-torn country.
Khost provincial governor spokesperson Taliban Mangal said at least nine people had been killed and 22 wounded, but that could not be immediately verified by military officials.
At least 26 people, all working for the Afghan security forces, were killed, Reuters reported a security offical as saying.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast in the eastern province, which defense ministry spokesman Ghafoor Ahmad Jawed would only confirm had caused casualties.
Some of the wounded had been transported to a hospital in the provincial capital Khost while four helicopters also had been dispatched to bring others to Kabul, Jawed said.
It is not clear how many worshippers were inside the mosque at the time of the explosion or the nature of the blast.
Khost is located on the border with Pakistan’s tribal areas.
The death toll among Afghan soldiers and police is nearing 30,000 since the start of 2015, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani revealed this month – a figure far higher than anything previously acknowledged.
In a recent report, the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction cited the NATO Resolute Support mission in Kabul as saying this summer’s toll had been worse than ever for Afghan forces.
According to U.S. Forces – Afghanistan, there were 23 reported ‘green-on-green’ insider attacks against Afghan National Defense and Security Forces personnel from May 17 to August 26, 2018, bringing the 2018 total to 56 insider attacks, SIGAR said in its October quarterly report.
With reporting from AFP