June 15, 2017 / 5:13 PM / 2 months ago

Four killed in Islamic State attack on mosque in Kabul

An Afghan policeman looks at the bloodstain of victims outside a mosque where a suicide bomber detonated a bomb, in Kabul, Afghanistan June 16, 2017.Omar Sobhani

KABUL (Reuters) - A militant attack on a Kabul mosque killed at least four people and wounded eight more on Thursday, an official said, as Muslims crowded the city's prayer halls for religious observances in the holy month of Ramadan.

Two gunmen and a suicide bomber tried to enter the Al Zahra mosque used by Kabul's Shi'ite minority, but were blocked by police, setting off a gun battle, interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said.

They then took refuge in the mosque's kitchen, where one detonated a bomb while the other two were killed by security forces, he added.

Among the dead were at least three civilians and one police officer, while four civilians and four police were wounded.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the deadly attack, the group's Amaq news agency said.

Kabul's Shi'ite minority has been targeted by suicide bombings in the past. An attack on a Shi'ite mosque in November killed more than 30 people.

Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for that attack, as well as an attack last July that killed more than 80 people at a mostly Shi'ite demonstration. The militant Sunni movement considers Shi'ites as heretics.

Reporting by Hamid Shalizi; Writing by Josh Smith; Editing by Tom Heneghan

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