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Afghanistan carnage continues as bombing at mosque in Khost kills 12, wounds 33

Afghanistan carnage continues as bombing at mosque in Khost kills 12, wounds 33
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KABUL — A bomb blast inside a mosque in eastern Afghanistan that was being used as a voter registration centre killed at least 12 people and wounded 33, officials said.

Habib Shah Ansari, the provincial head of public health, confirmed the toll from the attack, which took place in the city of Khost, the capital of the province of the same name.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but both the Taliban and a local ISIL affiliate reject democratic elections and have targeted them in the past. ISIL is not known to have a presence in Khost, but has expanded its footprint into other areas in recent years.

Last month, an ISIL suicide bomber attacked a voter registration centre in Kabul, killing 60 people and wounding at least 130 others.

Afghanistan plans to hold elections in October, the first since 2014.

The Taliban and ISIL have launched a relentless wave of attacks since the start of the year, killing scores of civilians in the capital, Kabul, and elsewhere. Afghan security forces have struggled to combat the groups since the U.S. and NATO concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014, switching to a counterterrorism and support role.

An Afghan wounded man lays on a trolley as others rush him to a hospital following blast at a voter registration centre in Khost Province on May 6, 2018. FARID ZAHIR/AFP/Getty Images

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, a vehicle carrying shopkeepers on their way to a market struck a roadside bomb in Afghanistan’s northern Faryab province, killing seven of them. Police spokesman Karim Yuresh said another civilian was wounded in Sunday’s attack, in an area where both the Taliban and ISIL are active.

In the eastern Paktia province, a car bomb killed two people and wounded another three. Abdullah Hsart, the provincial governor’s spokesman, said the attack late Saturday targeted Hazart Mohammad Rodwal, a district chief, who was among the wounded. The Taliban claimed the attack.

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