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Bomb attack on mosque kills 26 Afghan troops during Friday prayer

By Ray Downs
Afghan security officials check people and vehicles on a road side as security has been intensified ahead of parliamentary elections in Helmand, Afghanistan, on October 19. On Friday, 26 Afghan troops were killed in a bomb attack on a mosque. Photo by Watan Yar/EPA-EFE
Afghan security officials check people and vehicles on a road side as security has been intensified ahead of parliamentary elections in Helmand, Afghanistan, on October 19. On Friday, 26 Afghan troops were killed in a bomb attack on a mosque. Photo by Watan Yar/EPA-EFE

Nov. 23 (UPI) -- A bomb attack on a mosque in Khost province, Afghanistan, killed at least 26 Afghan troops and wounded 50 more while they were engaged in Friday prayers, the Afghan military said.

The attack during Friday prayers meant that it was timed to target the mosque when attendance would be higher than usual, said Captain Abdullah, a spokesman for the Afghan National Army, according to Voice of America.

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The victims were reportedly all members of the 2nd Regiment of Afghan National Army in Mandozai district.

The cause of the blast remains unclear. According to the Washington Post, some officials said a suicide bomber attacked the mosque, while others said a bomb had been planted in the mosque.

No groups have yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

The mosque attack came three days after a suicide attack on religious scholars killed at least 55 people in Kabul, the Afghan capital.

Last month, 56 people were killed in Afghanistan due to election-related violence, according to a United Nations report.

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