Major explosion hits Kabul mosque holding prayers for Taliban official’s mother

At least five people have died in a bombing in the Afghan capital Kabul, the Taliban said.

Twenty were also injured by the blast near Eid Gah mosque, where a prayer ceremony was being held for the late mother of a Taliban spokesman.

It is the first major explosion in Kabul since Western forces withdrew in August.

Hours later, the Taliban launched attacks on suspected Islamic State militant hideouts.

Three suspected IS militants are said to have been killed in the Taliban operation. However, these reports have not been verified.

So far no group has said it is behind the attack, but IS recently said it carried out several bombings in the eastern city of Jalalabad.

The Islamist group is violently opposed to the Taliban, which regained nearly full control of Afghanistan in a lightning offensive as international forces started to leave.

Taliban leaders are under pressure from the international community to renounce ties with IS and al-Qaeda, and they have continually denied that militants from either group operate in the country.

While the attack happened outside the mosque, it is unclear if it was directly targeting the ceremony, which was for the late mother of Taliban official, Zabihullah Mujahid.

Mr Mujahid has become one of the group’s most public faces as its spokesman.

For years, he had operated in the shadows – only speaking to reporters over the phone. But since the Taliban takeover he has addressed the media at several public news conferences.