At least 17 killed and 34 wounded as bomb in Afghan mosque targets election preparations
- Dozens wounded at voter registration centre after afternoon prayers
bomb blast at a mosque being used as a voter registration centre in Afghanistan has killed at least 17 people and wounded 34, officials say.
The attack is the latest in a string thought to be aimed at early preparations for parliamentary elections due to be held in October.
The Taliban and a local affiliate of Isis both oppose democratic elections and have targeted them in the past.
Basir Bina, a provincial police spokesman, said people had gathered after afternoon prayers in the mosque, in the eastern province of Khost, a mountainous region bordering Pakistan.
He said the blast appeared to have been caused by explosives left in the mosque rather than a suicide bomber.
But although the Taliban has warned people against taking part in the election process, it issued a statement denying any involvement in the bomb attack.
Medical aid group Médécins Sans Frontièressaid it had donated emergency supplies to the Khost provincial hospital, where many of the wounded were taken.
The Taliban and Isis have carried out a wave of attacks this year and fighting has spread across the country.
Last month, 60 people were killed and at least 130 others wounded when an Isis suicide bomber attacked a voter registration centre in Kabul.
Afghanistan’s October elections will be the first since 2014.
A vehicle carrying shopkeepers on their way to a market struck a roadside bomb in the northern Faryab province, killing seven of them earlier today.
Agencies contributed to this report.