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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

Afghanistan mosque explosion death toll rises to 29

A suicide bomber blew himself up at a Shi'ite mosque in Herat on Tuesday, officials said.

A wounded man rests on a vehicle after a suicide attack on a mosque in Heart, Afghanistan (AP Photo/Hamed Sarfarazi)
A wounded man rests on a vehicle after a suicide attack on a mosque in Heart, Afghanistan (AP Photo/Hamed Sarfarazi)

An explosion at a mosque in Afghanistan has left at least 29 people dead and 63 injured, officials said.

Hospital authorities said the blast occurred in a Shi'ite mosque in Herat on Tuesday, near the border with Iran, when a suicide bomber blew himself up.

"The death toll has risen to 29 killed and 63 wounded. Some wounded are in a critical condition so the toll may go up," hospital spokesman Rafeeq Shirzai said.

Police confirmed the attack took place at Jawadya mosque, adding that they believed "two terrorists" were involved.

"At around 8:00pm (1930 GST) tonight, a terrorist attack was carried out on a (Shiite) mosque in the third security district of Herat city," Herat police spokesman Abdul Ahad Walizada said.

"Based on our initial information two terrorists were involved one of them wearing a suicide vest, who detonated himself while the second one was armed with a rifle. They are both dead," he added.

No one has claimed responsibility for the explosion yet, which comes a day after the Iraqi embassy in Kabul was targeted by ISIL.

Shi'ites are a minority in Afghanistan and have been the target of violent attacks by hardline Sunni militants over the past year.