The attack on a Kabul mosque on Friday, the second of its kind in less than two weeks, was widely condemned by the international community who urged peace in the country and the need to remove the threat of terrorism.
The attack on Sher Shah Suri Mosque in the west of Kabul in Karte Char area left four people dead, including the imam of the mosque Mawlawi Azizullah Mofleh. Earlier this month another religious scholar, Mawlawi Mohammad Ayaz Niazi, was killed in a similar attack.
The explosion in Sher Shah Suri Mosque happened during Friday prayers.
“We strongly condemn the terrorist attack on the Sher Shah Suri Mosque in Kabul today. We mourn the innocent lives lost and are reminded again that the Afghan people deserve to live free from the persistent threat of terror,” the US State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs said.
The US embassy in Kabul condemned the attack and said that “terrorists will never defeat the Afghan people who come together in peace.”
“Another heinous terrorist attack against a place of worship, killing Maulvi Azizullah Mofleh at Kabul’s Sher Shah Suri. Our condolences to victims and families. Civilians are not targets. Stop the killing,” UK Ambassador to Afghanistan Alison Blake tweeted.
“I strongly condemn the attack on Sher Shah Suri mosque. The perpetrators must be brought to justice. As we face a historical opportunity for peace, spoilers can’t be allowed to disrupt it. We stand with Afghanistan in the fight against terror,” says NATO Senior Civilian representative Stefano Pontecorvo.
Canada’s Ambassador in Kabul, Dave Metcalfe, said “nobody has the right to deny freedom of faith or to target those practicing their religion in a sanctuary of worship.”
Iran’s embassy in Kabul condemned the attack, saying the attack was an act of terrorism and a criminal act on worshippers.
Pakistan's embassy in a statement condemned the attack and said "we offer our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the families of deceased and prayers for early recovery of injured."
Italian embassy in Kabul also condemned the attack, calling it “the new despicable attack against a place of worship.”
The Afghan government and the country’s political leaders also condemned the attack in strong terms, as did many on social media who called for thorough measures by the government to stop such acts.
President Ghani in a statement called the explosion a “brutal terrorist attack” and said attacks on sacred places of worship and on civilians, women and children have no justification in any religion and are crimes against humanity and against Islamic teachings.
Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council for National Reconciliation in a statement called the attack “an unforgeable crime and a terrorist attack” and said he calls on Afghan forces to ensure the safety of mosques and the lives of the scholars in the country.
Former president Hamid Karzai also condemned the attack and said that “this is a crime against humanity and a conspiracy against peace and stability in Afghanistan.”
Taliban in a statement also condemned the attack and said coordinated attacks on religious scholars are being conducted as the country is moving towards peace.