A bomb exploded in a mosque in the Afghanistan capital Kabul during Friday prayers, killing at least one person and wounding 16, the interior ministry said. The death toll of the attack is feared to rise, according to an official.

Afghan security forces keep watch outside a mosque after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 24, 2019.
Afghan security forces keep watch outside a mosque after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 24, 2019. (Reuters)

A bomb killed a senior Islamic preacher and wounded at least 16 devotees inside a mosque in the Afghanistan capital Kabul during Friday prayers, interior ministry officials said.

The preacher, Mawlawi Rayhan, was a supporter of the Western-backed Afghan government which Taliban militants are trying to bring down.

Jan Agha, a district police official, says the bomb was apparently planted in the microphone used by the mosque leader during Friday prayers.

No militant group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but both the Taliban and the Islamic State group regularly stage attacks in the country's capital.

The Kabul neighborhood where the bombing took place is dominated by ethnic Pashtuns, most of whom are Sunni Muslims and who make up the backbone of the Taliban movement.

The explosion hit the Al Taqwa mosque at a time when dozens of men had gathered for prayers. At least 16 men, all civilians, were injured.

The death toll could rise, said a second official.

"We have rushed ambulances to the blast site," said a senior official in Kabul. 

Source: TRTWorld and agencies