Bombing at mosque in Afghanistan kills 14, wounds 33

A bomb blast inside a mosque in eastern Afghanistan that was being used as a voter registration centre killed at least 14 people and wounded 33, officials said.

No claim of responsibility, but ISIS and Taliban have targeted voter registration centres in the past

Injured men receive treatment at a hospital following a deadly bombing at a mosque in Khost, the provincial capital of Afghanistan's eastern Khost province. (Nishanuddin Khan/Associated Press)

A bomb blast inside a mosque in eastern Afghanistan that was being used as a voter registration centre killed at least 14 people and wounded 33, officials said.

Habib Shah Ansari, the provincial head of public health, confirmed the toll from the attack, which took place in the city of Khost, the capital of the province of the same name.

People had gathered for afternoon prayers at the mosque in Khost, which was doubling as voter registration centre. (CBC)

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but both the Taliban and a local affiliate of the group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) reject democratic elections and have targeted them in the past. ISIS is not known to have a presence in Khost, but has expanded its footprint into other areas in recent years.

Last month, an ISIS suicide bomber attacked a voter registration centre in Kabul, killing 60 people and wounding at least 130 others.

Afghanistan plans to hold elections in October, the first since 2014.

The Taliban and ISIS have launched a relentless wave of attacks since the start of the year, killing scores of civilians in the capital, Kabul, and elsewhere. Afghan security forces have struggled to combat the groups since the U.S. and NATO concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014, switching to a counter-terrorism and support role.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, a vehicle carrying shopkeepers on their way to a market struck a roadside bomb in Afghanistan's northern Faryab province, killing seven of them. Police spokesperson Karim Yuresh said another civilian was wounded in Sunday's attack, in an area where both the Taliban and ISIS are active.

In the eastern Paktia province, a car bomb killed two people and wounded another three. Abdullah Hsart, the provincial governor's spokesperson, said the attack late Saturday targeted Hazart Mohammad Rodwal, a district chief, who was among the wounded. The Taliban claimed the attack.