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Three die in two mosque bombings

By
Clyde Hughes
A view of the mosque after an explosion targeted people during Friday prayer in  Kabul, Afghanistan Friday. Photo by Hedayatullah Amid/EPA-EFE
A view of the mosque after an explosion targeted people during Friday prayer in  Kabul, Afghanistan Friday. Photo by Hedayatullah Amid/EPA-EFE

May 24 (UPI) -- Two explosions at mosques Friday in Pakistan and Afghanistan Friday killed three people, including one outspoken imam while leading Friday prayer.

In Afghanistan, popular religious leader Mawlawi Samiullah Raihan died and 16 others injured when an explosion damaged Kabul's Taqwa Mosque in its Paktia Kot area about 1:20 p.m. local time, Tolo News reported.

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Raihan was leading Friday prayer when the explosion happened, Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said. The Afghanistan Times said that no group has claimed responsibility for the explosion.

The imam had long called for peace and spoke out against the continued violence in Afghanistan. Raihan had criticized the Taliban and other militant organizations for terrorism while supporting the Afghanistan government.

In Quetta, Pakistan, two people died and 13 others injured when a bomb explosion damaged a mosque in its Pashtoonabad area, state-run Radio Pakistan reported. Survivors were transferred to Civil Hospital Quetta.

The mosque administrator told Geo News that the blast happened at 1:15 p.m. local time where about 40 people were participating in Friday prayers.

Pakistan President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister ImranKhan both condemned the bomb blast, while Interior Minister Ijaz Ahmed Shah blamed the incident on those who are trying to "deteriorate the peace and security" of Pakistan.

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The Balochistan chief minister called for authorities to increase security for the rest of Ramadan, which ends June 4.

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