Suicide bomber kills 29 worshippers in Afghan mosque

1 / 4
Afghan police officers inspect the site of a suicide bomb attack at a Shiite mosque in Herat on Tuesday. (AFP / Hoshang Hashimi)
2 / 4
Relatives mourn victims of a suicide bomb attack on a mosque in Herat, Afghanistan, on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Hamed Sarfarazi)
3 / 4
Afghan police inspect the site of a suicide bomb attack at a Shiite mosque in Herat on Tuesday. (AFP / Hoshang Hashimi)
4 / 4
Updated 02 August 2017

Suicide bomber kills 29 worshippers in Afghan mosque

KABUL, Afghanistan: A suicide bomber stormed into the largest Shiite Muslim mosque in Afghanistan’s Herat province Tuesday night opening fire on worshippers before blowing himself up, killing at least 29 and wounding dozens more, said the provincial governor’s spokesman Jalani Farhad.
However Mehdi Hadid, a lawmaker from Herat, who went to the site soon after the explosion told The Associated Press that the scene was one of horrific carnage. He estimated at least 100 dead and wounded were scattered throughout the mosque. The attack took place in the middle of evening prayers when the mosque was packed with about 300 worshippers.
At Herat Main Hospital, Dr. Mohammed Rafique Shehrzai, confirmed 20 bodies were brought to the hospital in Herat city, the capital of western Herat province Tuesday night, soon after the blast shattered the late evening.
Hadid said he saw several pieces of a body that was being identified as the assailant. Although it’s not clear if there was a second attacker, witnesses in the area reported hearing a second explosion about 10 minutes after the initial bomber detonated his explosives.
Located just 50 meters (150 feet) away was an Afghan National Police station, but Hadid said the police were too frightened to take action and stood outside the mosque while the attack happened.
Residents were furious the police did not prevent the second explosion, although it is still not clear what caused it.
Dozens of local residents, who are mostly Shiites, attacked the police station pelting it with stones and setting it on fire, said Farhad.
Shiites are a minority in Afghanistan and have been threatened by the affiliate of the Daesh group that operates in the country’s east. Herat borders Iran whose capital Tehran was attacked by the so-called Islamic State in June. Herat has previously been the scene of several smaller attacks on Shiites.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attack on Herat’s Jawadia Mosque. However, after its attack on Monday on the Iraq Embassy in the Afghan capital Kabul IS warned Shiites in Afghanistan that they are targets.
Hadid said he rushed to the mosque after hearing about the explosion. He was told the attacker first fired on the private guards outside the mosque before entering. When inside, he fired on the praying worshippers until his rifle jammed then he blew himself up.


Report: Fugitive tech boss was Austrian spy agency informant

Updated 43 min 28 sec ago

Report: Fugitive tech boss was Austrian spy agency informant

  • Jan Marsalek faces allegations of fraud and other charges in connection with the company’s sudden bankruptcy earlier this year
  • German federal police issued a wanted poster for Marsalek in August

BERLIN: German media report that a fugitive former top executive of payment company Wirecard was an informant for the Austrian spy agency BVT.
Jan Marsalek, the former chief operating officer of Wirecard, faces allegations of fraud and other charges in connection with the company’s sudden bankruptcy earlier this year.
Munich-based Wirecard filed for protection from creditors in June after executives admitted that 1.9 billion euros ($2.2 billion) listed as being held in trust accounts in the Philippines probably did not exist.
The Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily reported Friday that German federal prosecutors have evidence Marsalek was a source for the BVT agency. The newspaper cited a German government response to Left party lawmaker Fabio De Masi.
German lawmaker Patrick Sensburg, who sits on the parliamentary intelligence oversight committee, told business daily Handelsblatt that Marsalek may have worked for several spy agencies simultaneously. He didn’t elaborate.
German federal police issued a wanted poster for Marsalek in August. Interpol issued a so-called red notice for him on allegations of “violations of the German duty on securities act and the securities trading act, criminal breach of trust (and) especially serious case of fraud.”
As chief operating officer, Marsalek was in charge of all operational business activities, including sales, and is suspected of having inflated the balance sheet total and sales volume of the company, police said.
Former Wirecard CEO Markus Braun has been arrested, along with the company’s former chief financial officer and former head of accounting.
Police allege that Braun and Marsalek incorporated “fictitious proceeds from payment transactions relating to deals with so-called third-party acquirers in order to present the company financially stronger and more attractive to investors and customers.”