An official from Taliban said that an explosion outside a mosque in Kabul killed Afghan civilians where a prayer was to be held for his mother.
"A bomb blast rocked a gathering of civilians near the entrance of the Eidgah Mosque in Kabul this afternoon, unfortunately leaving a number of civilians dead," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid wrote on Twitter on Oct. 3.
Mujahid previously announced on Twitter prayers for his mother will be held at Eidgah Mosque in Kabul from 14 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 3.
It is not clear whether the blast occurred before or during the prayer ceremony and the responsibility for the attack was not immediately requested.
Last week, a message from Ashraf Ghani, the Afghan president who fled the country in August to avoid a Taliban takeover, urged the international community to “extend a hand of friendship” to Kabul’s new rulers.
Then, in the form of a message on the ousted president’s verified Twitter account, came the correction. “Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani’s official Facebook page has been hacked,” it wrote in a Pashtu-language post early Monday. “Until it is retrieved, the content published from yesterday onwards on the Facebook page is no longer valid.”
The original Facebook message, which has since been deleted, reportedly urged foreign countries to”interact with the current government instead of alienating the Afghan people.”
The message reportedly stated that if the world “wants a prosperous and secure Afghanistan, it must extend a hand of friendship.” “It can’t be influenced by hostility as it has experienced in the last twenty years.”
Ghani claims he left to avoid additional carnage.
Days after fleeing the capital in the aftermath of the Taliban’s lightning seizure of Kabul on Aug. 15, the United Arab Emirates announced that Ghani and his family have been granted permission to remain in the Gulf state on “humanitarian grounds.”
Last month, Ghani posted a statement on Twitter saying that he left the country “at the advise of palace security who urged me to avoid setting off the same horrific street-to-street fighting the city had suffered during the Civil War of the 1990s.”
“Leaving Kabul was the most difficult decision of my life,” he said.
He apologized that he “could not make it end differently,” and said he was not meant to abandon the Afghan people, but that “it was the only way.”
In the statement, Ghani also pushed back on what he said were “baseless” accusations that he had arrived in the UAE with “millions of dollars of cash belonging the Afghan people,” calling them “categorically false.”
He claimed that corruption had been a problem in Afghanistan “for decades” and that he had done his best as president to address it, but that he had “inherited a monster that could not easily or quickly be defeated.”
“My wife and I have been scrupulous in our personal finances,” he insisted. “I have publicly declared all of my assets.”