Afghanistan: Blast in Kabul kills 8, IS claims responsibility
The militant group Islamic State (IS) has reportedly taken responsibility for a fatal blast in a Shi'ite residential area of Afghanistan's capital Kabul on Friday. According to police, at least eight individuals were killed and 18 were injured in the blast. According to the militant group, however, 20 people were killed or wounded during the blast in western Kabul.
Why does this story matter?
The IS affiliate that has been working in Afghanistan since 2014 is regarded as the country's most significant security threat since the Taliban seized power in August of last year. The extremist militant group has taken responsibility for most of the recent terror attacks, the majority of which targeted the Shi'ite community, a religious minority in Afghanistan.
Official statement over the development
"The explosion happened in a crowded place," Khalid Zadran, the police spokesperson, reportedly stated. "There is a possibility that the death toll will increase because most of the wounded people had critical wounds," he added. According to Afghan local media, the IS allegedly targeted a group of women and children who had gathered at a mosque for prayers.
Details regarding the incident
A social media video purportedly of the scene of the attack depicted men rushing to aid the wounded after the explosion. An anonymous senior Taliban security official reportedly stated that preliminary investigations revealed that bombs were placed in a vegetable cart. As per reports, the explosion resulted in more than 50 people, including women and children, getting injured or killed.
Two explosions reported, one targeted a women's mosque
Two explosions were reported in western Kabul, targeting the biggest religious minority in Afghanistan, the Hazaras. According to Ariana news, an explosion occurred at the women's Imam Baqir Mosque in the Sar-e Kariz neighborhood.
Why did they attack?
Shias comprise roughly 10% of the Afghan population. The community has long been persecuted by Sunni extremist groups, including the Taliban. Therefore, the IS attack targeted the ethnic Hazara Shiite community. The new Taliban rulers have promised to protect the minorities, even though multiple attacks have been reported since their hostile takeover in August 2021.
Several blasts hit Kabul in recent times
On June 18, multiple blasts were reported from a gurudwara in Kabul. On June 11, a blast hit Kabul's Batkhak Square. On May 25, three explosions rocked the capital of Balkh province. On the same day, a blast at Masjid Sharif Hazrat Zakaria mosque in Kabul killed two. In March 2020, an attack at Kabul's Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib gurdwara killed 27 Sikhs.Share this timeline