Security at Shiite mosques will be strengthened going forward, Taliban officials vowed after more than 40 people were left dead during a deadly suicide bombing Friday in southern Afghanistan, Reuters reported.
"Unfortunately they could not protect this area and in future we will assign special security guards for the protection of mosques and Madrasas," the chief of the Kandahar police said in a statement, which a Taliban official posted on social media, according to the news outlet.
The Shiite mosques, which had previously been protected by volunteers who were allowed to carry weapons, would be given assigned units in the future.
On Friday, photos circulated on social media of people presumed to be dead and others injured on a bloody floor at a Shiite mosque in Kandahar. The Taliban said 47 people were killed.
ISIS-K, the Sunni extremist group, later claimed responsibility for the attack. It previously claimed responsibility for several other attacks, including a suicide bombing during Friday noon prayer at a mosque in Kunduz that was filled with Shiite worshippers.
In late August, it also claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at the Kabul airport that left 13 U.S. service members and dozens more Afghans dead.
U.S. troops left Afghanistan in August as the Taliban took over the country more quickly than the Biden administration had anticipated.