Herat (IP) - An explosion tore through a crowded mosque in western Afghanistan on Friday, killing at least 30 people, including a prominent cleric, Taliban officials said.

Iran PressAsia: The death toll was expected to rise, they said.

The blast went off in the Guzargah Mosque in the western city of Herat during Friday noon prayers, the highlight of the Muslim religious week when places of worship are particularly crowded.

The explosion killed Mujib-ul Rahman Ansari, a prominent cleric who was known across Afghanistan for his criticism of Afghanistan’s Western-backed governments over the past two decades. Ansari was seen as close to the Taliban, who seized control over the country a year ago as foreign forces withdrew.

His death was confirmed by the chief Taliban Spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid.

The spokesman for Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry said there were more dead and wounded people but could not provide details.

Previous mosque attacks have been claimed by the ISIS terrorist outfit, which has carried out a series of attacks against religious and ethnic minorities in Afghanistan, as well as Taliban targets.


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