A suicide bomber on Monday killed at least 27 people and wounded 35 in an explosion at a crowded Shia mosque in the Afghan capital Kabul, officials said.
The attacker entered the Baqir ul Olum mosque during a ceremony, the interior ministry said in a statement. Fraidoon Obaidi, chief of the Kabul police Criminal Investigation Department, said at least 27 people were killed and 35 wounded when the explosion tore through the worshippers.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Although Afghanistan has not suffered sectarian violence comparable to that experienced by many Middle Eastern countries, the attack underlines the deadly new dimension that growing ethnic tension could give to its decades-long conflict.
In July more than 80 people were killed in an attack on a demonstration by the mainly Shia Hazara minority that was claimed by Islamic State militants.
Last month, gunmen targeted Shia pilgrims in Kabul, killing at least 14 people as they gathered to celebrate Ashura, one of the most important festivals on the Shia calendar, officials said.
The attack in the Afghan capital marked unravelling security as the resurgent Taliban continued to pressure Afghan forces, with hundreds of commandos sent to reinforce the provincial capital Lashkar Gah in the south.