Afghans bury victims of mosque attack as toll rises to 35

Afghans bury victims of mosque attack as toll rises to 35

KABUL: Khost, Afghanistan: Hundreds of mourners Saturday buried the victims of a twin suicide attack on a mosque in eastern Afghanistan, as the death toll rose to 35, officials said.

Two suicide bombers dressed as women struck a mosque in Gardez, capital of Paktia province, Friday as it was crowded with worshippers for Friday prayers.

The burqa-clad attackers shot at the mosque´s security guards before opening fire on worshippers then detonating their explosives.

"The death toll from Friday´s mosque attack in Gardez has jumped to 35 with 94 wounded," Paktia governor Shamim Khan Katawazi told AFP.

Provincial police chief Raz Mohammad Mandozai confirmed the toll.

Officials had earlier said 29 people were killed and more than 80 wounded.

"Today, we held funeral ceremony and buried all the martyred of Friday´s attack," a weeping Sayed Moharram, who lost his 16-year old son, told AFP from a graveyard on the outskirts of Gardez where hundreds of people attended the ceremony.

"It is very difficult for me to accept my son is no more with me," he said.

Haji Sultan, 70, who also attended the burials, accused the government of "negligence" in providing security.

"The enemies of Afghanistan want to create division by carrying out attacks on people, but they cannot win, it will further increase hatred towards the enemies," he said.

Daesh, which in recent years has carried out attacks in Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for the attack, the US-based SITE intelligence group reported, citing the Daesh propaganda channel Amaq.