A controversial cleric has been killed in an explosion in Afghanistan’s western province of Herat, officials said on Friday.
In a statement, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said that Mawlana Mujib-ul-Rahman Ansari had been killed during Friday prayers at the biggest mosque in the city.
Mujahid vowed that Taliban forces would punish the perpetrators behind the attack.
Provincial police spokesperson Mahmoud Shah Rasooli said the incident took place when the cleric was entering the mosque while coming from his house.
“One of the suicide bombers blew himself up and the cleric while kissing his hands,” the police spokesman said.
Rasooli said a number of people had been killed in the attack, but did not give a precise number.
The famous cleric was a major supporter of the Taliban government.
Since the Taliban’s return to power, attacks on places of worship had increased in the country.
The Islamic State terrorist group had claimed responsibility for a number of these attacks against religious minorities, but there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the Friday bombing.