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Gunmen kill six in Kabul Sufi mosque attack

KABUL: Gunmen attacked a Sufi mosque in Kabul on Saturday evening, killing at least six people and leaving five others wounded, police officials said, shattering a recent calm in the Afghan capital.

The rare attack on the Sufi minority struck around the time of evening prayer at about 7:00 pm (1430 GMT), and though no group claimed the unrest, security officials swiftly announced the arrest of five suspects in connection with the killings.

“A group of armed men entered (a Sufi mosque)… and opened fire,” Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai told AFP.

Deputy interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish confirmed the details of the attack, with the ministry issuing a statement putting the toll at six dead and five wounded.

The ministry said five suspects had been arrested, while Stanikzai said an investigation had been launched to “identify the attackers and the motive behind the attack”.

Though no group claimed responsibility for the attack, Afghanistan remains plagued by a Taliban insurgency more than 13 years after the militant group was ousted from power.

NATO ended its combat mission in late December, leaving a residual force to carry on a training and support mission to Afghanistan’s 350,000 security forces, who now lead the fight against the Taliban.

The election last year of President Ashraf Ghani, who pledged to make peace talks a priority, as well as supportive signals from Pakistan which has long held significant influence with the Taliban, has boosted hopes for possible dialogue. -AFP

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