An explosion at a mosque in Herat city in western Afghanistan killed 18 persons, including a pro-Taliban scholar, Reuters reported.

The explosion took place at the Guzargah Mosque during Friday noon prayers, Al Jazeera reported.

“[Imam] Mujib Rahman Ansari with some of his guards and civilians have been killed on their way toward the mosque,” said Herat’s police spokesperson Mahmoud Rasooli. “One of the suicide bombers blew himself up while kissing his hands.”

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said the perpetrators behind the bombing would be punished. “The country’s strong and courageous religious scholar was martyred in a brutal attack,” Mujahid said.

The Herat blast is an addition to the series of attacks that have taken place in Afghanistan since the beginning of the year. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for most of them.

In August, the Islamic State killed a cleric, Sheikh Rahimullah Haqqani, in a suicide bombing.