In this Oct 26, 2018 photo, Afghan National Security Forces search passengers and their vehicles at a checkpoint in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Massoud Hossaini / AP)
KABUL, Afghanistan — An explosion ripped through a mosque inside an Afghan army base in the country's volatile eastern Khost province as Friday prayers were drawing to a close, killing 27 soldiers and wounding 57, the military said.
The blast may have been set off by a suicide bomber or a remotely detonated bomb but nothing was officially confirmed and details were sketchy. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the explosion.
It was the latest in a relentless, near-daily onslaughts in Afghanistan, where the Taliban regularly target Afghan military and police forces throughout the country
It was the latest in a relentless, near-daily onslaughts in Afghanistan, where the Taliban regularly target Afghan military and police forces throughout the country.
"There were soldiers lying everywhere and the smoke was so thick, it was difficult to see," said Abdullah, a spokesman at the base. Like most Afghans, he uses only one name. He spoke to The Associated Press over the phone from the base.
The dead and wounded were rushed to a clinic within the army base, while the more seriously wounded were taken to a nearby hospital.
Sakhi Sardar, head of the hospital in Khost said most of the wounded were being treated for devastating shrapnel wounds.
The explosion came just days after a suicide bomber killed 55 religious scholars gathered in the Afghan capital, Kabul, to celebrate the holiday marking the birth of Islam's Prophet Muhammad. The Taliban denied involvement in that bombing, which also wounded 94 people
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