Tensions in the town of Falluja, 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Baghdad, are likely to be inflamed following an explosion at the main mosque, which killed at least four people. Local witnesses said the explosion was caused by a US strike on a small cinderblock building in the mosque courtyard. But US soldiers at the scene told the Associated Press news agency that it was likely explosives hidden at the site went off as there was no evidence of anything other than a ground-based explosive.
SPIN BOLDAK, Afghanistan – A bomb exploded in a mosque in southern Afghanistan during evening prayers, wounding 10 people, three of them seriously, the main preacher and officials said on Tuesday.
The preacher at the mosque, in Kandahar city, supports Afghanistan’s U.S.-backed government.
The blast ripped through the mosque during evening prayers on Monday, said Khalid Pashtun, spokesman for Kandahar’s governor.
Pashtun accused remnants of the ousted Taliban regime for planting the bomb and said the mosque’s preacher, Mawlavi Abdullah Fayaz, had recently rejected a Taliban call for a jihad, or Muslim holy war, against the government.
“Fayaz was the target because he also heads the council of Kandahar’s Ulema,” Pashtun said, referring to the city’s council of clerics.
“They had said that jihad is not applicable against the government,” he said.