Prominent Muslim cleric, others killed in Afghan explosion

Prominent Muslim cleric, others killed in Afghan explosion
Taliban fighters block a road after a blast during the Friday prayer in Gazargah mosque, in Herat on September 2, 2022. - A huge bomb blast at one of the biggest mosques in western Afghanistan on September 2 killed its influential imam, who called earlier this year for those who commit "the smallest act" against the government to be beheaded. (Photo by STR / AFP)

A prominent Muslim cleric, Mujib Rahman Ansari, has been killed in a bomb explosion outside a mosque in the city of Herat in western Afghanistan.

According to Aljazeera, the explosion killed the high-profile pro-Taliban cleric as well as more than a dozen civilians.

“Mujib Rahman Ansari, with some of his guards and civilians, have been killed on their way toward the mosque,” said Herat’s police spokesperson Mahmood Rasoli.

Rasoli did not say how many casualties were recorded due to the blast but sources at the scene told Al Jazeera that 15 people had been killed.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Images on social media showed what appeared to be blood-stained bodies scattered around the mosque compound.

Taliban official Abdul Nafi Takor confirmed Friday’s explosion and said there were dead and wounded, but had no further details.