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3 killed, 11 injured in Takhar mosque attack

3 killed, 11 injured in Takhar mosque attack

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Aug 11, 2017 - 18:01

TALOQAN (Pajhwok): Gunmen opened fire at worshippers inside a mosqueinfo-icon in Ab Chah district of northeastern Takhar province on Friday, killing three people and injuring nearly a dozen more, an official said.

Six of the wounded people were said to be in critical condition and the death toll might increase, the governor’s spokesman, Sunnatullah Taimur, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

He said people were offering Friday’s prayers when they were attacked at 1pm following a clash between gunmen loyal to militia commander Bashir Qanat and local illegal gunmen over the appointment of a prayer leader ahead of the prayers.

Commander Qanat had asked the mosque imaminfo-icon, Mualvi Mehfoozullah, to leave the mosque, but the imam continued to lead prayers, triggering a clash between the two sides on Friday. The clash is still ongoing, Taimur said.

The governor’s spokesman said security forces had been sent to the area to help stop the fighting. However, he said the security forces might not be able to disarm illegal gunmen.

Commander Qanat told Pajhwok Afghan News that his men wanted to show their opposition to the imam but they were attacked by the rival side.

He said Mualvi Mehfoozullah had announced jihadinfo-icon against him last night. He said civilians were safe during the clash.

A resident of the area, Shukrullah, confirmed the imam had declared jihad against commander Qanat a few days ago. He said the clash was ongoing and many worshippers remained trapped inside the mosque.

Takhar security officials said they had called a security meeting to find solution to the situation in Chah Ab district.

Commander Bashir Qanat is a Hezb-i-Islamic Afghanistaninfo-icon commander, who often gets engaged in armed clashes with Jamiat-i-Islamiinfo-icon rivals in the district.

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