PESHAWAR: Over 30 worshippers were killed in twin suicide blasts in a mosque in Gardez City of Paktia province in Afghanistan on Friday.

According to Afghan media reports, the blasts happened when two suicide bombers entered Sahib-ul-Zaman Mosque in Khwaja Hassan area at around 1:20pm. The attackers then opened fire on security guards of the mosque. The attack happened when the worshippers from Shia sect were offering Friday prayer.

Afghan officials said some of the wounded were in critical condition and that the death toll may rise. Reports said the attackers also used hand grenades against worshippers inside the mosque. There were about 600 people inside the mosque when the attacks happened and the attackers were clad in burqas.

The Taliban militants denied their involvement in the attack and no other group has claimed responsibility. The militant group Islamic State has previously claimed responsibility for attacks on Shia mosques and other locations around Afghanistan.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a report last month that the number of civilians killed in Afghanistan reached a record high in the first half of the year, despite last month’s ceasefire, with a surge in suicide attacks.