Twin Mosque Attacks Kill Scores in One of Afghanistan’s Deadliest Weeks

KABUL, Afghanistan — Just like any other day, Zareen Gul, 60, held the hand of her grandson, Ali Seyar Nazari, 10, and left home to attend the early evening prayer in their neighborhood mosque in the west of Kabul.

This time, however, they did not return home. Their family found their remains, barely identifiable from the clothes they wore, at a hospital after an Islamic State suicide bomber targeted the prayer.

Ms. Gul and young Seyar became the latest victims of what has been one of Afghanistan’s deadliest weeks. The death toll from twin attacks on mosques late on Friday, just hours apart, was raised on Saturday to at least 67 people killed and dozens wounded. As many as 88 may have died in the two attacks.

More than 200 people, both civilians and security personnel, have been killed this week in Afghanistan in six attacks. A precise casualty total is hard to get, as varying levels of violence rage in more than half the country’s provinces.

“This week alone, hundreds of Afghan civilians going about their daily lives, including practicing their religious faith, have fallen victims to brutal acts of violence,” António Guterres, the United Nations secretary general, said in a statement. “The cycle of violence must end and dialogue commence.”

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Top Taliban leader involved in stoning of a girl surrenders in Ghor

A top Taliban leader who was involved in the brutal execution of a girl has surrendered to the Afghan security forces in western Ghor province of Afghanistan.

According to a local official in Ghor, the senior Taliban leader, Mawlavi Sa’adyar, was involved in insurgency activities in Feroz Koh area of Ghor.

The official speaking on the condition of anonymity further added that Sa’adyar was involved in the brutal execution of a girl Rukhshana who was stoned to death late in 2015.

He said Sa’adyar surrendered to the Afghan forces after he was admitted to the hospital for the treatment of appendices.

Provincial police chief Mustafa Mohseni confirmed the surrender of Mawlavi Sa’ad but has not commented further.

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