2nd LD Writethru: 35 killed, 70 injured in mosque explosions in eastern Afghan town

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GARDEZ, Afghanistan, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- At least 35 people were killed and more than 70 others wounded after two explosions ripped through a mosque in Gardez, an eastern town in Afghanistan on Friday, sources said.

The incident occurred at around 1:300 p.m. local time when people were offering Friday prayers inside Imam-i-Zaman Mosque in Police District 2 of the city, which is the capital of eastern Paktia province, a police officer who declined to be named, told Xinhua.

Two assailants also died on the spot, he said.

Citing an initial information, Dr. Walayat Ahmadzai, head of provincial health department, told Xinhua that 35 people were killed and over 70 others wounded after the blasts.

"Several wounded people were shifted to a military hospital in Afghan army's Corps 203 Thander for intensive treatment as the government-run hospitals were not able to provide treatment for all the victims," Ahmadzai said.

He warned that the death toll may go up as many of the wounded were in critical condition.

Security forces have cordoned off the area for precautionary measures in Khowja Hassan neighborhood mostly dominated by Shiite Afghans.

The mosque building was also severely damaged by the blasts.

Media and people were not allowed to enter the site and no one knows what exactly is ongoing inside the building.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

Over the past few months, Afghanistan has witnessed waves of terror attacks against Shiite mosques mostly claimed by the extremist Islamic State (IS) outfit.

In late March, one civilian was killed and nine others wounded after two IS gunmen attacked a Shiite mosque in western Herat province.