At least 16 people were killed in bomb blasts in two Afghan cities on Thursday – including 12 at Shiite mosque in Mazar-i-Sharif claimed by Islamic State (IS) group.
The number of bombings in Afghanistan has declined since the Taliban returned to power in August, but the Jihadist and Sunni group IS has since made some claims – often against Shiite targets.
Ugly images of victims being transported to the hospital from the Seh Dokan mosque in Mazar-i-Sharif were posted on social media.
“Blood and fear are everywhere,” Ahmad Zia Zindani, a spokesman for the Balkh provincial public health department, told AFP, adding that “people were screaming” as they sought news of their loved ones in the hospital.
He said 12 blasts had killed 12 people and injured 58 – including 32 in serious condition.
“The relatives of the victims were coming to the city hospitals looking for their nearest patients. Many residents also came to donate blood, ”said Zindani.
In Kunduz, at least four people were killed and 18 injured by blast police spokesman Obaidullah Abedi told AFP of a bicycle bomb aimed at a vehicle carrying a mechanic working for the Taliban.
The Shiite community of Afghan Hazara, comprising between 10 and 20 percent of the country’s 38 million people, is the long – standing target of the IS, who considers themselves heretics.
“Soldiers found the caliphate bag trapped with a booby” inside the mosque, detonated long after it was packed with worshipers, IS said in a statement.
On Tuesday, two explosions outside a school in a Shiite neighborhood in Kabul killed at least six people and injured 25 others.
No group claimed responsibility for that attack.
Taliban officials argue their IS forces have defeated IS, but analysts say the jihadist group is a key security challenge.
Since seizing power, the Taliban have carried out regular raids on suspected IS skins in eastern Nangarhar province.
In May last year at least 85 people were killed – mostly girls – and about 300 were injured when three bombs exploded near their school in the Shiite neighborhood of Dasht-e-Barchi in Kabul.
No group claimed responsibility for that, but in October 2020 IS admitted to a suicide attack on an education center in the same area that killed 24 people, including students.
In May 2020, the group was blamed for a bloody attack on a maternity ward at a hospital in the same neighborhood that killed 25 people, including new mothers.
At least 16 dead as blasts rock Afghan cities – The Citizen Source link At least 16 dead as blasts rock Afghan cities – The Citizen