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Islamic State Claims Bombing  10/16 06:43

   

   KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- The Islamic State group claimed responsibility 
for a deadly suicide bombing on a Shiite mosque in southern Afghanistan that 
killed 47 people and wounded scores more.

   In a statement posted late Friday on social media, IS said two of the 
group's members shot and killed security guards manning the entrance of the 
Fatimiya mosque in Kandahar province.

   One detonated his explosives at the entrance of the mosque and the other 
inside.

   IS's news agency Amaq in a statement gave the names of the attackers as Anas 
al-Khurasani and Abu Ali al-Baluchi, both Afghan nationals.

   The attack came a week after a bombing claimed by the local Islamic State 
affiliate killed 46 people at a Shiite mosque in northern Afghanistan, raising 
fears that IS -- an enemy of both the Taliban and the West -- is expanding its 
foothold in Afghanistan.

   Friday's attack was the deadliest to strike Afghanistan since the dramatic 
U.S. exit from the country, which allowed the Taliban to seize control of the 
Afghan capital. It was also the first major attack by the group in the 
country's south.

   IS carries out frequent attacks in its eastern stronghold, but recently has 
shown signs of expansion, with attacks in the north and Kabul.

   The attacks have brought into question the Taliban's ability to counter the 
growing IS threat.

   The Taliban have pledged to restore peace and security after decades of war 
and have also given the U.S. assurances that they will not allow the country to 
be used as a base for launching extremist attacks on other countries.

 
 
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