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50 killed in Afghan mosque explosion

A massive blast in a mosque frequented by a religious minority group in northern Afghanistan has killed many people.

The explosion happened at the Gozar-e-Sayed Abad Mosque in Kunduz province during the weekly Friday prayer service, and appears to have targeted members of the Shiite religious minority who typically visit in large numbers for worship.

“This afternoon, an explosion took place in a mosque of our Shiite compatriots … as a result of which a number of our compatriots were martyred and wounded,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter, adding that a special unit was arriving at the scene to investigate.

A medical official at Kunduz Central Hospital, who pleaded anonymity, said the hospital had received 35 dead bodies and more than 50 injured people.

Another hospital run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said it received the bodies of at least 15 people.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. But there have been several attacks, including one at a mosque in the Afghan capital, Kabul, in recent weeks, some of which have been claimed by Islamic State.