The Afghan National Police (ANP) has arrested 17 terrorists involved in a series of bomb attacks in Kabul, the country’s Ministry of Interior said on Wednesday.
“Over the past few weeks, ANP has managed to arrest 17 mine planters and detect and defuse 10 rounds of roadside mines and improvised bombs prepared by terrorists for explosions in different locations of the capital,” the ministry said in a statement.
Over the past years, the capital city has been hit by a series of terror attacks by the Taliban insurgents and militants of the Islamic State (IS), Xinhua news agency reported.
The ministry added that efforts are being made to arrest all elements behind bomb attacks and mine blasts in the capital.
Meanwhile, a powerful bomb ripped through a popular mosque in Kabul’s fortified green zone on Tuesday, killing at least two persons and injuring two others, police said.
Tariq Arian, the spokesman for Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry, said the bomb targeted the Wazir Akber Khan mosque at around 7:25 p.m. (local time), when worshippers had gathered for evening prayers, Aljazeera reported.
The mosque is located in a high-security diplomatic area near the offices of several international organisations and embassies.
Prayer leader of the mosque, Mullah Mohammad Ayaz Niazi, was one of two people killed in the attack, Arian confirmed.
No group has claimed the responsibility of the explosion in central Kabul, which occurred at one of the city’s most famous places of worship.
Niazi was famous in Kabul and his politically charged sermons were often so well attended that worshippers would spill into the grounds outside the mosque.
Arian initially said the attack was conducted by a suicide bomber. But as investigations proceeded, it was not clear that remained the case.
President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman called the incident a “heinous” attack.
The attack follows a bombing claimed by ISIS against a television station’s minibus in central Kabul on Saturday, killing a scribe and the driver.
It also comes after officials said seven civilians were killed late Monday by a roadside bomb linked to the Taliban in northern Afghanistan, even as authorities pressed for peace talks with the militants.