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Dozens dead after blast at a mosque in Afghanistan

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By Joshua Askew  with AFP/AP
This frame grab image from video, shows upper floor window blown out after a bomb explosion inside a mosque, in Mazar-e-Sharif province, Afghanistan, Thursday, April 21, 2022
This frame grab image from video, shows upper floor window blown out after a bomb explosion inside a mosque, in Mazar-e-Sharif province, Afghanistan, Thursday, April 21, 2022   -   Copyright  Credit: AP

Dozens of people have died in an explosion at a mosque in Afghanistan.

At least 33 people were killed in the blast that hit a mosque during Friday prayers in northern Afghanistan, a Taliban spokesman announced.

The explosion occurred at a mosque in the Imam Sahib district of Kunduz.

It is unclear who is behind the attack.

Friday's explosion follows a series of attacks in Afghanistan on Thursday.

"I condemn the multiple attacks yesterday in Afghanistan, including on the Seh Dokan mosque in Mazar-e-Sharif during prayers," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

"I extend my deepest condolences to the families of the victims & wish a swift recovery to those injured," he added.

An affiliate of the so-called Islamic State - known as ISIS-K - claimed responsibility for the series of three attacks on Thursday, according to the terror group's Telegram channel.

In the worst of the three, 11 people were killed and 40 injured in the explosion that hit a Shi’ite mosque in the city of Mazar-e-Sharif, said an Afghani health official Thursday.

Earlier that day, two children were injured by a roadside bomb in the Afghan capital city, Kabul.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur for Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, denounced the blasts on Thursday.

"Systematic, targeted attacks on crowded schools and mosques call for immediate investigation, accountability and end to human rights violations," he said.