Terrorists attack Shiite mosque in Kabul; 2 killed

Police have cordoned off the area of the attack

Afghan officials say a suicide attack on a Shi'ite mosque in Kabul killed at least 20 people, including two police officers, and wounded more than 40 others during Friday prayers. "The attack is over and the site has been cleaned up by our police", deputy spokesman Najib Danish told AFP, confirming three attackers were killed by security forces.

The Taliban said they were behind that attack. He urged Islamic clerics everywhere to condemn the bloodshed.

The IS group's news outlet Amaq said IS militants had carried out a "commando" attack on the mosque.

The hours-long attack on the Imam Zaman mosque in the Qala-e Najara neighborhood of northern Kabul killed at least 20 people and wounded at least 30 others, media reports said.

The mosque was believed to have been packed with dozens of men, women and children when the assailants struck during Friday prayers.

The mosque could accommodate up to 1,000 people, Nasir added. Access to the second floor, where the women pray, was blocked by attackers.

"There was another girl who was shot in the head". Witnesses told news agency Reuters that the gunmen threw grenades before entering the mosque. Sunni extremists consider Shiite Muslims to be heretics.

The IS group also claimed responsibility for mosque attacks in Kabul and in the western Herat province. There has been no immediate comment from the Taliban.

Danish said police rescued more than 100 worshippers who were caught in the fight between security forces and the attackers.

It comes just one day after the top USA military commander in the country vowed to crush the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and urged the Taliban to join peace talks.

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