At least 27 children killed in last Friday's mosque blast in Nangarhar


JALALABAD -- Villagers searched for the bodies of their loved ones on Saturday (October 19) in the rubble of a mosque in Nangarhar Province that collapsed a day before in a blast during Friday prayers, killing 70 people including dozens of children, officials said.

The attack -- the country's second-most deadly this year -- took place in Haska Mina District and also wounded at least 36 people.

"We have reports that the death toll has reached 70 in yesterday's incident," provincial governor's spokesman Ataullah Khogyani told AFP.

At least 27 of the victims were schoolchildren, said Asif Shinwari, a spokesman for Nangarhar's education department.

"They were ninth to 10th graders. Sixteen schoolchildren were wounded," he told AFP, adding that children usually studied at the mosque after prayers.

No one has claimed responsibility for the blast.

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