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Afghan Mosque Blast Kills 18 Including Pro-Taliban Cleric

Taliban fighters block a road after a blast in the Guzargah Mosque in Herat, Afghanistan, on Sept. 2.

Taliban fighters block a road after a blast in the Guzargah Mosque in Herat, Afghanistan, on Sept. 2.

Source: AFP/Getty Images

Eighteen Afghans were killed and dozens were wounded as a blast ripped through a mosque in Afghanistan’s western Herat province, the latest in a series of attacks on worshipers.

The explosion went off as one of the people at the mosque stepped forward to greet pro-Taliban cleric, Mujib Rahman Ansari, before the Friday prayers, Mahmoud Shah Rassouli, a police spokesman for the province, said by phone. A spokesman for Herat’s governor, Hameedullah Motawakel, confirmed the death toll and the number of casualties in a separate text message to reporters.