Mosque attack in western Afghanistan kills at least 29

An attack on a Shia mosque in the western Afghan city of Herat on Tuesday killed more than 20 people and wounded 30 others, officials say.

Police say there appeared to be a suicide bomber and another person throwing grenades

A wounded man rests on a vehicle on Tuesday after the explosion at the Shia mosque in western Herat. (Hamed Sarfarazi/Associated Press)

A suicide attack on a Shia mosque in the western Afghan city of Herat killed at least 29 people and wounded more than 64 on Tuesday, officials said.

More than 1,700 civilians have been killed in attacks in Afghanistan so far this year, hitting confidence in the Western-backed government of President Ashraf Ghani.

Abdulhai Walizada, a local police spokesperson, said there appeared to be more than one attacker on Tuesday, with witnesses describing a suicide bomber who detonated explosives and at least one other, a gunman who threw grenades at worshippers.

The attack took place in the middle of evening prayers when the mosque was packed with about 300 worshippers.

"Two attackers entered the mosque and started shooting and throwing grenades at people," said Mohammad Adi, a worshipper at the mosque who was injured in the attack and taken to hospital.

An injured man receives treatment at a hospital after a suicide attack that killed at least 29 people. (Mohammad Shoib/Reuters)

Mohammad Asif Rahimi, governor of Herat, said at least 29 people were killed and 64 wounded in the incident that came two months after an attack on a 12th-century mosque known as the Jama Masjid in Herat, in which seven people died.

​At Herat Main Hospital, hospital official Dr. Mohammed Rafique Shehrzai confirmed 29 bodies were brought to the hospital Tuesday night, soon after the blast shattered the late evening.

Hadid said he saw several pieces of a body that was being identified as the assailant.

He also said that 10 of the wounded were critically injured.

There was no claim of responsibility. But the Taliban, fighting to install strict Islamic law and drive foreign troops out of Afghanistan, denied any involvement.

Hardline Sunni militants from the local branch of ISIS have repeatedly attacked the mainly Shia Hazara minority in the past year.

The attack also comes a day after a suicide bomber detonated his explosives at the Iraq Embassy in Kabul. ISIS claimed responsibility for that attack.

With files from CBC News and The Associated Press