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Bomb kills senior cleric during Friday prayers at Afghan mosque

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KABUL (Reuters) - A bomb killed a senior Islamic preacher and wounded at least 16 devotees inside a mosque in the Afghan capital during Friday prayers, interior ministry officials said.

The preacher, Mawlawi Rayhan, was a supporter of the Western-backed Afghan government which Taliban militants are trying to bring down.

No militant group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

The explosion hit the Al-Taqwa mosque at a time when dozens of men had gathered for prayers. At least 16 men, all civilians, were injured.

The death toll could rise, said a second official.

"We have rushed ambulances to the blast site," said a senior official in Kabul.

(Reporting by Abdul Qadir Sediqi; Hameed Farzad, Writing by Rupam Jain, Editing by Nick Macfie)

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