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Bombings Hit Two Mosques in Afghanistan, at Least 50 Killed

Bombings Hit Two Mosques in Afghanistan, at Least 50 Killed

Dozens of worshipers were killed Friday when suicide bombers struck two mosques in an escalation of violence in Afghanistan that has left at least 150 people dead this week.

The United States strongly condemned the October 20 attacks and previous attacks in Afghanistan during a week in which USA drones strikes were reported to have killed more than 30 militants in the region.

The Kabul mosque death toll has risen to 56, the Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman said. It said the assailant blew himself up as worshippers began their prayers.

Dashte-e-Barchi is a sprawling neighbourhood in the west of Kabul where the majority of people are ethnic Hazaras, who are mostly Shiite Muslims.

"These brutal and senseless attacks against people at prayer are atrocities", said Yamamoto.

He also confirmed that only one guard of five hired for the mosque was in attendance in the attack time and rest of others were busy doing own private affairs because they received low salaries."I ask the government to give them adequate stipends in order they spend all their time on ensuring local security".

Sakhi Dad Bashardost, a local representative who witnessed the harrowing scene, said of all the five guards, armed by government for ensuring security of religious areas, only one was present during the attack.

The Sunni Muslim group did not provide evidence for its claim but it has attacked Shia mosques before.

It has been a brutal week in Afghanistan, with more than 70 killed, mostly policemen and Afghan soldiers but also civilians as militant attacks have surged. In addition, several attempted suicide bombings in Kabul have been foiled.