The attack on a mosque in the north of Kabul city on Friday has been widely condemned by a number of national and international organizations as well as embassies in the capital.
It is not however clear exactly how many people were killed as some sources state over 20 were killed while others say as many as 40 were killed and 90 wounded.
The attack took place at around 1pm on Friday afternoon when at least 200 worshippers were at the mosque for Friday prayers.
The Ulema Council of Afghanistan strongly condemned the attack and said it was un-Islamic and inhumane.
“The Afghanistan Ulema Council condemns this inhumane and un-Islamic act … Attacking mosques and other sacred places is not justified by any religion and law and it is far from Islam. The enemies once again proved that they are not paying respect to any religious values,” the council said in a statement.
The council warned Afghanistan’s enemies that they will not succeed in creating division among Sunni and Shia Muslims in the country by conducting such heinous acts.
The religious scholars’ council asked security organizations to do everything in their power to prevent such attacks from happening.
The US Embassy’s Special Chargé d’Affaires Ambassador Hugo Llorens also condemned the attack and said the United States has great respect for the Hazara community and their resilience in the face of these horrific attacks.
“We will work closely with the National Unity Government to investigate these attacks, and to root out the perpetrators of these inhumane acts. The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces are working closely with the United States and its allies to hunt down, target, and wipe ISIS (Daesh) and its adherents from their last hovel in Afghanistan. We will not rest until we obliterate their presence from Afghanistan and erase even the memory of ISIS from the region,” he said.
“The United States commends all Afghans in their pursuit of peace, security, and prosperity for their country and a future for Afghanistan free of sectarian violence.”
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in turn also condemned the attack on Saturday and said in a statement that the death toll of at least 20 civilians, including women and children, could rise.
“These preliminary figures may rise,” the statement said.
“This latest in a series of attacks targeting members of the Shia community at worship has no possible justification,” said Toby Lanzer, the UN Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and acting head of UNAMA.
“Such attacks directed against congregations and places of worship are serious violations of international law that may amount to war crimes.”
“International humanitarian law prohibits deliberate attacks against civilians and civilian property, including places of worship, and also places a specific obligation on parties to enable religious personnel to carry out their work,” Lanzer added.
NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan also put out a statement and said: “Once again, ISIS-K (Daesh) terrorist chose to attack a mosque during Friday prayers, killing innocent women, children and police officers. We stand with Afghanistan in the pursuit of peace. We are firmly committed to support the ANDSF against terrorists.”
The Afghanistan Human Rights Commission also strongly condemned the attack and stated that over 40 people had been killed and more than 90 wounded.
The commission expressed its concerns over attacks on religious places and said such action was inhumane and against the teachings of Islam.
“This act is against national and international human rights,” the commission said in a statement.
A number of political parties, led by influential leaders, also voiced their concerns and condemned the attack.
They called on the Afghan nation to stand united against such acts, which aim to create division among the people.