Explosion inside mosque in northern Afghanistan kills 1

An explosion ripped through a mosque in Afghanistan’s northern Kunduz province on Friday, killing at least one worshipper and wounding seven others, a Taliban official said.

Dozens of people had gathered inside the mosque in the district of Imam Sahib for Friday prayers when an explosive device that had been planted there went off, said Obaidullah Abedi, the Taliban-appointed spokesman for the Kunduz police chief.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack and an investigation was underway. Lately, the regional affiliate of the Islamic State group, known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, has increased attacks on mosques and minorities across the country.

The IS affiliate, which has been operating in Afghanistan since 2014, is seen as the greatest security challenge facing the country’s new Taliban rulers. Following their takeover when they seized power in Kabul and elsewhere in the country last August, the Taliban have launched a sweeping crackdown against the IS headquarters in eastern Afghanistan.

Last month, in a similar attack at a mosque in the capital of Kabul killed at least five people and wounded 22. In April, a powerful explosion ripped through Khalifa Aga Gul Jan Mosque — also in Kabul — during Friday prayers, killing at least 10 people and wounding as many as 30 others.