Khost City, May 6: At least 13 were killed and 34 left injured in a heavy explosion carried out in a mosque in Khost on Sunday. The blast was reported shortly after the afternoon prayers, when people had gathered at the mosque.
The provincial police, while confirming the 13 casualties, said the death toll is feared to rise further. The mosque was possibly targeted by the militants as it was also being used as a voter registration centre, said police spokesperson Basir Bina.
He said the explosion was not carried out by a fidayeen or suicide bomber. Instead, the militants had left timed-explosives inside the mosque premises.
The attack is being linked to the upcoming parliamentary elections in October. In the past month, militants of the Islamic State killed over 60 civilians in a blast carried out at a voter registration centre in Kabul.
The Taliban, ISIS and other extremist outfits have warned the general populace against participating in the polls.
The government of President Ashraf Ghani is firm on proving its credibility by conducting nationwide elections under the due process.
In another militant activity earlier on Sunday, seven Indian engineers along with their Afghan driver were abducted by suspected Taliban militants in the Baghlan province.
The Taliban, although being blamed by the local press for both the incidents, is yet to claim responsibility.
However, the group issued a statement earlier in the day, contradicting the claims of Afghan Army, which said it had re-wrested the Kohistan district in Badakhshan province, which was taken over by the insurgents on Monday.