Daesh claims suicide attack on two Afghan mosques, at least 72 dead

Men inspect inside a Shiite Muslim mosque after last night attack in Kabul. (Reuters)
Updated 21 October 2017
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Daesh claims suicide attack on two Afghan mosques, at least 72 dead

KABUL: Suicide bombers attacked two mosques in Afghanistan on Friday, killing at least 72 people including children, officials and witnesses said.
One bomber walked into a Shiite Muslim mosque in the capital Kabul as people were praying on Friday night and detonated an explosive, one of the worshippers there, Mahmood Shah Husaini, said.
At least 39 people died in the blast at the Imam Zaman mosque in the city’s western Dasht-e-Barchi district, interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said.
Daesh has claimed responsibility for the attack, but a statement from the group did not provide evidence to support its claim.
Shiite Muslims have suffered a series of attacks in Afghanistan in recent months, many of them claimed by the Sunni Muslim militants of Daesh.
Separately, a suicide bombing killed at least 33 people at a mosque in central Ghor province, a police spokesman said.
The attack appeared to target a local leader from the Jamiat political party, according to a statement from Balkh provincial governor Atta Mohammad Noor, a leading figure in Jamiat.
No one immediately claimed responsibility.


China: Plots to disrupt ties with Pakistan will fail

Updated 6 min 15 sec ago
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China: Plots to disrupt ties with Pakistan will fail

  • China has pledged $57 billion to build power stations, major highways, new railways and high capacity ports along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor
  • China welcomes the good start made in its “all-weather” partnership with Pakistan following the election of the new government under Prime Minister Imran Khan

BEIJING: Any plots to sow discord in China’s ties with Pakistan will not prevail, the Chinese government’s top diplomat said on Tuesday, as Beijing fends off criticism of its economic projects in Pakistan and a clampdown in China’s western Xinjiang region.
China has pledged $57 billion to build power stations, major highways, new railways and high capacity ports along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a key part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road plan to further tie China to Eurasia.
The sustainability of Chinese projects has come under fresh scrutiny in recent months, as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in July warned that any potential International Monetary Fund bailout for Pakistan’s troubled economy should not be used to pay off Chinese lenders. Both Beijing and Islamabad say the loans are sustainable.
China welcomes the good start made in its “all-weather” partnership with Pakistan following the election of the new government under Prime Minister Imran Khan, State Councillor Wang Yi told Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
But “any conspiracies attempting to incite disharmony or interfere in China-Pakistan relations will not prevail,” Wang added, without elaborating, according to a statement released by China’s foreign ministry on Wednesday.
China and Pakistan should continue to make “all-out” efforts to promote the economic corridor, expand trade and reduce poverty to bring more benefits to the ordinary people of Pakistan, Wang said.
The relationship between China and Pakistan will not change, regardless of circumstantial changes, Qureshi told Wang, according to China’s statement.
The corridor is “extremely important” to Pakistan and has brought “deep impact” for jobs, development and livelihood, and Islamabad will take effective measures to ensure the security of the entire route, he added.
Beijing has faced growing international criticism from rights groups, some western nations and United Nations human rights experts over its sweeping security crackdown in the far western region of Xinjiang, which borders Pakistan.
Islamabad, like most governments of majority Muslim countries, has so far remained silent on the issue, but a group of Pakistani businessmen whose Chinese wives and children have been trapped in Xinjiang are lobbying the new government to help pressure Beijing into allowing their release.
Beijing says it faces a serious threat from extremist militants and separatists in Xinjiang and has rejected accusations of mistreatment.