Kabul: At least 30 Taliban fighters have been killed in an explosion at a mosque in Afghanistan during a bomb-making class.
The Khaama Press News Agency said the fighters died when Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) they were learning to construct exploded inside a mosque, quoting a release from the Afghan Army’s 209th Shaheen Corps.
Afghan officials said the group had gathered inside a mosque for a “bomb-making training” session in the village of Qultaq in northern Afghanistan on Saturday. The blast happened at a mosque in the village of Qultaq in the Dowlatabad district of Balkh province.
The bodies of the six foreigners could not be identified because of the extent of the damage caused by the explosion, the army statement revealed. The six foreign nationals, reportedly considered as experts in the subject, were teaching the militants how to make bombs and IEDs.
Taliban violence has surged in recent months – with a nationwide spike in bombings, targeted killings and violence – amid stuttering peace talks with the Kabul government.
On Monday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance will not withdraw its troops from Afghanistan ‘before the time is right’, ahead of a discussion by defence ministers on the deployment.