Brussels 09.10.2021 “People were gathered for Friday prayers in a Shiite mosque in Kunduz, when a cowardly attack struck, killing more than 40 believers and reportedly injuring over 100. The European Union mourns with the families of the victims and wishes those injured a full and speedy recovery” the statement of the European External Actions Service reads.
“The perpetrators of this despicable crime, for which the terrorist group ‘ISIS-Khorasan’ claimed responsibility, must be brought to justice. The human rights of all Afghans, including the right to life and the rights of ethnic and religious minorities, have to be protected and respected”.
“Continued terrorist attacks are a serious obstacle to a stable and peaceful Afghanistan, where all Afghan citizens can feel safe and secure. The European Union remains committed to peace and stability in Afghanistan and to supporting its people”.
Dozens of people have been killed in a suicide bombing attack at a Shia mosque in Afghanistan’s northeastern city of Kunduz during Friday prayers on October 9, the country’s worst bloodshed since the Taliban took over control in August.
The Islamic State of Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-K) claimed responsibility for the attack through the same day via online communicatins.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan paid a surprise visit to Hagia Sophia site just days before the first Muslim prayers will be held at the Istanbul historic building since it was reconverted to a mosque last week.
In a brief visit Erdogan took stock of the conversion work, the president’s office said on Sunday (July 19), providing images showing scaffolding inside the building.
The Diyanet, the country’s religious authority, said Christian fresco would be covered with curtain and unlit “through appropriate means during prayer times”.
Authorities said last week the mosaics would be concealed with either curtains or lasers when the first prayers are held.
In an interview with broadcaster NTV, President’s spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said on some mosaics of Mary and Gabriel that are positioned in the direction of Qiblah, where Muslims face during prayer, would be covered with curtains.
The other ther mosaics of Jesus and other Christian figures did not pose an obstacle for Muslim prayers because they are not located in the direction of Qiblah, he added, however spokesperson did not say whether they would remain uncovered at all times.
Outside prayers, Hagia Sophia will be open to all visitors and tourists and all mosaics will be uncovered, authorities have said.
It remains unknown whether Erdogan planned to be among some 500 worshippers set to attend Friday prayers.
Turkey’s top court paved the way for the conversion in a decision to revoke the edifice’s museum status conferred nearly a century ago in 1935.
Kabul bomb explosion inside a mosque killed two people, including the imam, and wounding two others an official of Afghanistan government said.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Islamic State (Daesh) has been active in Kabul in recent weeks and has in the past carried out attacks inside mosques in Afghanistan.
Taliban insurgents insist they have never carried out an attack inside of a mosque.
Mullah Mohammad Ayaz Niazi was one of the two people killed in June 2 attack, Arian said. He was seriously wounded in the explosion and died later at a hospital.
Niazi was a well known cleric who was active as Friday prayer leader at the mosque. Next to his religious convictions he carried out duties as Kabul University professor in the Islamic Law department.
Tariq Arian, spokesman for Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry, said the bomb targeted the Wazir Akber Khan Mosque at around 7:25 p.m., when worshippers had gathered for evening prayers. The mosque is located in a high-security diplomatic area near the offices of several international organizations and embassies.
Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, tweeted that the government strongly condemned the attack, saying it “reveals the brutality and inhumanity of those who purposefully perpetrate violence against our Ulema and innocent people.”
Attacks against worshippers have increased in Afghanistan: Last month, an unknown number of attackers stormed a mosque in northern Parwan province, killing 11 and wounding several others.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that her cabinet had made in conceptual decisions around the reform of gun laws following the mass shooting in Christchurch mosques.
“I intend to give further details of these decisions to the media and the public before cabinet meets again next Monday,” she said at a press conference.
“This ultimately means that within 10 days of this horrific act of terrorism we will have announced reforms which will, I believe, make our community safer.”
Prime Minister said an inquiry will trace the lead up to attack and what might have been done differently. (Image above: Jacinda Ardern wore the Hijab (headscarf) while lamenting the Muslim victims of terrorist attack and expressing condolences to their families.)
“The European Union expresses its sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the two terrorist attacks that took place in Christchurch, New Zealand, earlier today. We stand in full solidarity with the people and authorities of New Zealand at this extremely difficult time and stand ready to support in any way, including by strengthening our cooperation on counter-terrorism.
“Attacks on places of worship are attacks on all of us who value diversity and freedom of religion and expression, which are the fabric of New Zealand’s society and shared by the European Union. Such acts strengthen our resolve to tackle, together with the whole international community, the global challenges of terrorism, extremism and hatred.”
An explosion has struck a mosque in Egypt’s northern Sinai, injuring and killing people, according to local media.
Egyptian state media MENA, citing an official security source, said that at least 54 people were killed and at least 75 injured.
The blast occurred in the al-Rawda village, west of el-Arish, shortly after Friday prayers.
News reports said that after the explosion, gunmen in four off-road vehicles opened fire on worshipers.
Local media also reported the closure of the Arish-Rafah road, further east.
The attack comes a day before the Rafah border crossing, the main gateway for Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip to the outside world, was due to open for a three-day period.
The border was briefly open earlier this week.