KABUL   -  At least 18 people were martyred and 23 oth­ers injured in a sui­cide blast at a mosque during Friday prayers in Afghanistan’s Herat province on Friday.

Talking to report­ers, Spokesman of the provincial administra­tion Mawlawi Hamid­ullah Matawakil said a prominent cleric Maw­lawi Mujibur Rahman Ansari and his brother Habib-ur-Rahman An­sari were also martyred in the blast.

Meanwhile, Spokes­man of the interim Af­ghan government Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed that Mujibur Rahman Ansari had been martyred in the Fri­day’s blast. In a tweet, he said the country’s strong and cou­rageous religious scholar was martyred in a brutal at­tack. No group or individu­al has claimed responsibili­ty for the blast yet. The ‘huge blast’ rocked one of the big­gest mosques in Afghani­stan’s western city of Herat on Friday, killing its influen­tial imam and causing many other casualties, local media reported. Tolonews said the blast occurred at Gazargah Mosque just before Friday prayers, killing imam Mujib ur Rahman Ansari. Images on social media showed what appeared to be blood-stained bodies scattered around the compound of the mosque. Ansari was an influential pro-Taliban cleric known for his fiery speeches.