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.


Eritrea responds to Ethiopia PM’s olive branch

Updated 17 min 49 sec ago
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Eritrea responds to Ethiopia PM’s olive branch

ADDIS ABABA: Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki is dispatching a delegation to Addis Ababa for “constructive engagement” with arch-foe Ethiopia after peace overtures this month from its new Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, a senior Eritrean diplomat said on Wednesday.
Isais made the annoucement — a potentially significant breakthrough in one of Africa’s most protracted conflicts — earlier on Wednesday, Eritrea’s ambassador to Japan, Estifanos Afeworki, said on Twitter. He gave no further details.
Eritrean information minister Yemane Ghebremeskel did not respond to requests for comment.
Eritrea and Ethiopia remain bitter foes after a 1998-2000 conflict that drew comparisons to the First World War, with waves of conscripts forced to march through minefields toward Eritrean trenches, where they were cut down by machine gun fire.
Casuality figures are disputed in both countries although most estimates suggest 50,000 Ethiopian soldiers died, against 20,000 on the Eritrean side.
Even after the end of the war, the border remains heavily militarised and disputed, most notably the town of Badme which was part of Eritrea, according to a 2002 international arbitration ruling.
Since then, Addis has ignored the ruling and refused to pull out troops or officials, to the fury of Asmara.
However, Abiy, a 41-year-old former soldier who has embarked on a radical economic and political reform drive since taking over in March, stunned Ethiopians this month when he said Addis would honor all the terms of the settlement between the two countries, suggesting he was prepared to cede Badme.
In parliament this week, Abiy also acknoewledged the tensions continued to inflict a heavy economic cost on both countries and said Addis should no longer hide this price tag from the Ethiopian people, another stunning departure with the past.
There has so far been no official response to Abiy’s overtures from Eritrea, one of the Africa’s most closed states.