Kabul [Afghanistan], September 3 (ANI): United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Saturday condemned the attack on a mosque in Afghanistan's Herat that resulted in the death of 20 persons.
"UNAMA condemns today's attack on a mosque in #Herat, which has resulted in dozens of casualties, among them some children. Continued attacks on Afghans going about their daily lives, including attending places of worship, must stop," tweeted UNAMA.
At least 20 people were killed in a blast that rocked a mosque in northwestern Afghanistan during Friday prayers, Afghan media reported.
Guzargah mosque in the city of Herat was bombed at around 12:40 pm (local time), Khamaa Press reported, citing authorities run by the Taliban.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said Mawlawi Mujib Rahman Ansari, the cleric who led the prayers, was killed in what he described as a cowardly attack carried out by the "enemies of religion."
Mujahid said the Taliban would punish those responsible for the explosion. He did not blame any particular group but the Taliban have been fighting the Islamic State-Khorasan terror group, which has been targeting religious gatherings and patrols.
The Khama Press reported that the slain cleric was a hardliner who advocated for beheading rebels, stoning adulterers and chopping off the hands of thieves. Mujahid praised him as a courageous religious scholar.
Former President Hamid Karzai has condemned the blast at Guzargah mosque, saying it is against human and Islamic values.
Abdullah Abdullah, former Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, also condemned today's explosion and said that attacking religious places and targeting innocent people is a crime against humanity.
Last month, a number of blasts were reported in the capital city of Kabul, claiming dozens of innocent lives.
This series of blasts comes on the heels of one year of Taliban rule in Afghanistan. Rights groups said the Taliban have broken multiple pledges to respect human rights and women's rights.
After capturing Kabul in August last year, the Islamic authorities have imposed severe restrictions on women's and girls' rights, suppressed the media, and arbitrarily detained, tortured, and summarily executed critics and perceived opponents, among other abuses.
Rights groups say that the Taliban's human rights abuses have brought widespread condemnation and imperilled international efforts to address the country's dire humanitarian situation. (ANI)