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Terrorists behind Afghanistan Mosque bombing caught

KABUL — The Taliban has caught a trio of terrorists behind Sunday’s deadly mosque blast in Kabul — and wiped out an ISIS-K cell in a “decisive” raid, its leadership said early Monday.

The militant Islamic group ruling Afghanistan caught three terrorists who were behind the bomb on a road outside the Eid Gah mosque in the capital, spokesman Bilal Karimi said.

The blast killed two and injured three others, Karimi said, although other reports suggested all five had died.

While no organization had taken responsibility for the attack — the worst in Afghanistan since the chaotic exit of US troops in August — government forces later raided an ISIS-K cell and killed all the terrorists connected to it, the group revealed.

“A special unit … carried out an operation against ISIS insurgents,” tweeted chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

Taliban soldiers stand guard at the mosque where a bomb went off on October 3, 2021, killing two people. EPA/STRINGER

According to the Taliban, the bombers were found shortly after the detonation and were arrested. Mehri Jamshidi/Polaris

“As a result of this operation, which was very decisive and successful, the ISIS center was completely destroyed and all the ISIS members in it were killed,” he said, without elaborating on the exact number of fatalities.

The group gave no further details on the raid in the northern Kabul neighborhood of Khair Khana, including whether any Taliban troops were injured or killed in the operation.

Local media had reported heavy clashes in the area and residents said they heard explosions and gunfire during the night.

The entrance of the Eid Gah mosque where a bomb had exploded. According to the Taliban, they have eliminated the terror cell in Afghanistan.HOSHANG HASHIMI/AFP via Getty Images

Workers collect carpets used for mourning prayers at the Eid Gah Mosque.HOSHANG HASHIMI/AFP via Getty Images

The mosque blast earlier Sunday came as Taliban officials had gathered to mourn the passing of Mujahid’s mother. The group has insisted that those killed or injured were civilians.

Other authorities, however, said that the mosque entrance was being prepared Sunday for a slate of public executions for those convicted of kidnappings and murders.

While no group has claimed responsibility for the bomb, suspicion quickly fell on the local ISIS affiliate, which has ramped up attacks against its Taliban enemy — including the suicide blast that killed 13 US service members as well as 169 Afghans.

Workers wait outside the Emergency NGO hospital after a bomb exploded in the entrance of a mosque on October 3, 2021.Mehri Jamshidi/Polaris

ISIS reemerged in Afghanistan in 2020 after being weakened by a heavy US bombing campaign directed against them in the eastern part of the country in 2019.

They were blamed for a horrific attack in 2020 on a maternity hospital that killed 24 people, including newborn babies. Earlier this year, they were blamed for a brutal attack on a school in Afghanistan’s mostly Shiite neighborhood of Dasht-e-Barchi that killed more than 80 students.

With Post wires


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