KABUL (Reuters) -A powerful blast hit a mosque in western Kabul during prayers on Friday, killing at least 10 and wounding 15, officials said, amidst a spate of attacks on Afghan places of worship and civilian targets during the holy Islamic month of Ramadan.
Besmullah Habib, deputy spokesman for the interior ministry, said the blast had hit the Khalifa Sahib Mosque in western Kabul at around 2 p.m. local time (1000 GMT).
One man, who was inside the mosque at the time, told Reuters a huge blast tore through the building during prayers, the explosion burning his feet and hands.
Mohammad Sabir, a resident in the area, said he had seen people being loaded into ambulances after the explosion.
“The blast was very loud, I thought my eardrums were cracked,” he said.
A nurse at a nearby hospital who declined to be named said they had received several injured people in critical condition from the attack.
Scores of Afghan civilians have been killed in recent weeks in blasts, some of which have been claimed by the Islamic State.
Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers say they have secured the country since taking power in August and largely eliminated the Islamic State’s local offshoot, but international officials and analysts say the risk of a resurgence in militancy remains.
Many of the attacks have targeted the Shi’ite religious minority, however Sunni mosques have also been attacked.
Bombs exploded aboard two passenger vans carrying Shi’ite Muslims in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif on Thursday, killing at least nine people. Last Friday, a blast tore through a Sunni mosque during Friday prayers in the city of Kunduz, killing 33 people.
The latest attack came on the holy Islamic day of Friday, the last in the month of Ramadan in which most Muslims fast and before the religious holiday of Eid next week.
(Reporting by Kabul newsroom; Writing by Charlote Greenfield, Editing by William Maclean and Tomasz Janowski)