At approximately 0432 EST, an explosion rocked the Gazargah Mosque in Herat, Afghanistan. Cleric Mujib al-Rahman Ansari has been killed along with his brother, 13 security officers and more than 23 civilians, with another 200 injured. The Taliban have confirmed this bombing was carried out by a suicide bomber. The group has blamed ISIS-K for the attack, citing yesterday’s attack on a convoy in Kabul, previous thought to have been the work of the ANRF.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed the death of Ansari, but refuted earlier claims that Afghanistan Interim Deputy Prime Minister Baradar was also killed, considering he met with Ansari before the explosion. Baradar released this statement:
“On the occasion of the martyrdom of Maulana Mujibur Rahman Ansari, a message of grief shared by Alhaj Mulla Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund “From among the believers, the men of the world give charity, and we pledge to Allah against them, and from them we do not commit murder, and from them we wait, and we do not change.” (Al-Ahzab: 23) It is with great sadness and regret that I received the news that Maulana Mujibur Rahman Ansari, the strong and courageous religious scholar of the country, was martyred during the Friday prayer in the brutal attack of the enemies of Islam and the land. The enemies of Islam and the truth want to silence the pulpit of truth and disturb the security of the people with their inhuman acts. But the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan will beat the enemies of religion and country to the last century and the perpetrators behind this incident will be punished for their heinous act. God willing”
The below video shows mourners praying over the body of Ansari, which was moved to Herat city.