Gunmen kill 5 at mosque in Afghanistan, Islamic State claims responsibility

By Mohammad Yunus Yawar and Charlotte Greenfield

KABUL (Reuters) -Gunmen attacked a mosque in western Afghanistan on Monday night during prayer time, killing at least five people, a spokesperson for the provincial governor said.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, the group's Telegram channel said.

The dead included a woman and a child, and three people were also injured, Mawlawi Nesar Ahmad Alyes, spokesman for Herat province's governor, said on Tuesday.

The Taliban has said they are focused on restoring security since taking over as foreign forces withdrew in 2021, but attacks targeting mosques, religious seminaries and government buildings have continued despite an end to the 20-year war.

Many attacks have been claimed by the militant Islamic State group.

Western Herat province, which borders Iran, is predominantly home to the Shi'ite religious minority, which has been on the receiving end of some of the most violent attacks against civilians in Afghanistan's bloody history.

(Reporting by Mohammad Yunus Yawar in Kabul; Additional reporting by Yomna Ehab and Ahmed Tolba; Writing by Charlotte Greenfield in Islamabad; writing by Sakshi Dayal; Editing by YP Rajesh, Kim Coghill and Jonathan Oatis)