Bomb attack on mosque in Afghanistan slammed

US ready to work with Pakistan to promote regional peace

The security officials in the province said efforts are underway by the Afghan forces and the government officials as well as the local tribal elders for the release of the Indian engineers. "We are in contact with the Afghan authorities and further details are being ascertained", External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

Mohammad Arif Noori, the spokesman for the provincial governor, said the militants were planning to wrest control of an arterial road and had attacked many security check posts. "A crowd of people who had come out of the mosque had gathered to register" when the blast took place, Khost provincial police chief Abdul Hanan Zadran told AFP.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosion, which adds to a series of attacks on voter centres since the registration process began in April. The IEC has placed numerous voter registration centers inside schools and mosques, triggering concerns that students and worshippers could be at risk.

No one has claimed the abduction, but the Taliban have a strong presence in Baghlan.

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Habib Shah Ansari, head of the Khost health department says 17 are confirmed dead.

This week suicide bombers in the capital Kabul killed at least 26 people, including nine journalists. But the Taliban, and the local cell of the Islamic state oppose democratic elections in the country.

In another incident on Sunday, a vehicle carrying shopkeepers on their way to a market struck a roadside bomb in Afghanistan's northern Faryab province, killing seven of them.

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