Shia mosque attacked in Kabul by men in police uniforms

Shia mosque in Kabul attacked by gunmen in police uniforms (5 September) Worshippers at this Kabul mosque were attacked on Thursday

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At least two worshippers have been hurt after two men armed with AK-47 assault rifles, knives and explosives attacked a Shia mosque in Kabul, officials say.

The attack took place in the mainly Shia Dashte Barche area of the city in the early hours of Thursday.

Police say the attackers were wearing Afghan police uniforms and were Pakistani nationals. They were both killed after a gun battle.

Reports say that other worshippers also fought with the assailants.

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The BBC's Bilal Sarwary in Kabul says that although tensions do exist between Afghanistan's Sunni and minority Shia Muslims, most attacks in Afghanistan in recent years have targeted government officials or security forces.

At least 55 people were killed and more than 100 injured in 2011 in Kabul in a suicide bombing at a crowded Kabul shrine during the festival of Ashura.

Afghanistan believes that Taliban safe havens in Pakistan are the main cause of increased violence in the country.

Elements of Pakistan's intelligence service have long been accused of backing the Afghan Taliban and giving them refuge on Pakistani soil - something Islamabad strongly denies.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has urged Pakistan to "facilitate peace talks" between Afghanistan and the Taliban, saying the government in Pakistan could provide opportunities for talks between Afghan peace negotiators and the militants.

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