LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

Suicide Attack On Shiite Mosque Leaves At Least 29 Dead In Afghanistan

After a suicide attack on a Shiite mosque in Herat, relatives of the victims grieve for the loved ones they lost in the violence Tuesday.

A Shiite mosque in western Afghanistan was stormed during evening prayers Tuesday, torn asunder by grenades and a suicide bomber's detonated vest, law enforcement officials say. By the time the scene had settled at the place of worship, at least 29 people were killed and dozens more were injured.

And local officials say the death toll could still rise.

"Two attackers entered the mosque and started shooting and throwing grenades at people," worshipper Mohammad Adi, who was hospitalized for his wounds after the assault, tells Reuters.

"Based on our initial information two terrorists were involved, one of them wearing a suicide vest who detonated himself while the second one was armed with a rifle," local police spokesman Abdul Ahad Walizada tells the news agency Agence-France Presse. "They are both dead."

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which unfolded at the Jawadia mosque in the city of Herat, near Afghanistan's border with Iran. Both news services note the Taliban has denied involvement in the violence.

The Associated Press describes the aftermath of the attack:

"[Local lawmaker Mehdi] Hadid said he saw several pieces of a body that was being identified as the assailant. Although it's not clear if there was a second attacker, witnesses in the area reported hearing a second explosion about 10 minutes after the initial bomber detonated his explosives.

"The mosque was badly damaged with windows blown out, walls and even the large dome peppered with shrapnel and everywhere was blood from the victims, said Hadid.

"Located just 50 meters (150 feet) away was an Afghan National Police station, but Hadid said the police were too frightened to take action and stood outside the mosque while the attack happened."

The violence follows on the heels of another deadly attack in Afghanistan, this one launched Monday on the Iraqi Embassy in Kabul. As NPR's Scott Neuman reported, witnesses described an embassy building that was racked with gunfire and several explosions.

Reuters notes that so far this year, more than 1,700 civilians have been killed in Afghanistan. The persistent violence has at times attracted protests from Afghans fed up with what they see as the government's failure to maintain its citizens' safety.

"Our leaders are doing nothing to stop this carnage," one protester said earlier this year, just days after a car bomb killed more than 150 people in Kabul.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)