Gunmen killed four worshipers in an Afghan mosque Sunday following an Islamic State suicide bombing that claimed 20 and nearly killed Afghanistan’s vice president returning from exile.
Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province, said the unidentified gunmen opened fire on the mosque Sunday evening wounding three, including the imam, in addition to the four they killed. The attack came in the wake of an ISIS suicide bombing earlier that day near the airport in Kabul during the return of exiled vice president Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum from Turkey. (RELATED: Explosion Heard Near Kabul As Exiled VP Lands In Afghanistan)
The bombing missed Dostum, though he and his entourage were likely the targets, but killed 20 people and wounded 70 others.
“There were both military and civilians who were killed and wounded in the attack and the dead toll could change,” said Kabul police chief Hashmat Stanekzai, according to the Associated Press.
Dostum is a former Uzbek warlord who fought alongside U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan in 2001. He has been accused of massacring Taliban prisoners in 2001 and of beating and sodomizing a political rival.
Among those killed in the suicide bombing was Mohammad Akhtar, who worked as a driver for the Afghan branch of Agence France Presse and was related to Shah Maria, AFP’s chief photographer in Afghanistan who was killed in an April double ISIS suicide bombing along with eight other reporters in Kabul.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the Sunday evening mosque attack, though a strong probability exists of it being either an ISIS or a Taliban operation.
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