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Explosion at Wazir Akbar Khan Mosque in Kabul

An emergency hospital in Kabul, run by Emergency NGO, stated that they received 14 victims of the blast, four of which died on arrival.

On September 23, an explosion occurred near the Wazir Akbar Khan Mosque, in Police District 10 of Kabul, reportedly as people were leaving the mosque after Friday prayers. Images and footage posted of the scene can be geolocated to the area immediately outside the mosque.


Figure 1: Geolocation of images showing the aftermath of the explosion in Wazir Akbar Khan, Kabul [34.535895, 69.182675]

The Kabul Police Spokesman, Khalid Zadran, confirmed on his Twitter account that the explosion occurred on a road near the Wazir Akbar Khan Mosque. In his tweet, Zadran claimed that all the victims were civilians and worshippers at the mosque.


According to TOLO News, eyewitnesses claimed that ambulances took the victims to the Wazir Akbar Khan Hospital, located near the incident, however, no specific numbers were provided. An emergency hospital in Kabul, run by Emergency NGO, stated that they received 14 victims, four of which died on arrival. Based on the high number of victims reported, it is likely they were taken to more than one hospital in the area.


A video that was posted on social media shows a view from further down the road, of smoke and what appears to be a burning vehicle in the road (circled red below).


Figure 2: Vehicle seen burning just out of view of the camera

According to TOLO News, eyewitnesses claimed that the explosion was caused by a magnetic bomb. This is similar to what has been seen in past attacks in the region, primarily by groups like the Islamic State affiliate, ISKP.


However, the casualty reports and images of the damage caused by the blast indicate the explosion was significantly larger than that usually caused by magnetic devices. It is possible that a VB-IED (Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device) was used, with a device stored in the trunk or built into the vehicle engine or chassis to evade easy detection.

AW Reporter:

Afghan Witness

23 Sept 2022