By John Ikani
The Islamic State group ISIS has claimed responsibility for a deadly suicide bombing on a Shiite Mosque in southern Afghanistan that killed 47 people and wounded scores.
The terror group in a statement detailing how the incident unfolded, said two Islamic State fighters shot the guards of the Mosque dead, broke in and blew themselves up between two groups of worshippers, one of which consisted of around 300 people.
It gave the names of the suicide bombers as Anas al-Khurasani and Abu Ali al-Baluchi, both Afghan nationals.
Friday’s attack was the deadliest to strike Afghanistan since the dramatic US exit from the country, which allowed the Taliban to seize control of the Afghan capital. It was also the first major attack by the group in the country’s south.
It came a week after a bombing claimed by the local Islamic State affiliate killed 46 people at a Shiite Mosque in northern Afghanistan, raising fears that ISIS — an enemy of both the Taliban and the West — is expanding its foothold in Afghanistan.
IS carries out frequent attacks in its eastern stronghold, but recently has shown signs of expansion, with attacks in the north and Kabul.
The attacks have brought into question the Taliban’s ability to counter the growing IS threat.
The Taliban have pledged to restore peace and security after decades of war and have also given the US assurances that they will not allow the country to be used as a base for launching extremist attacks on other countries.