Conflicts & War

At least 3 die in bombing in Afghan capital

Kabul, Aug 6 (EFE).- Three people were killed and 21 others wounded Saturday when a bomb went off in a mainly Shiite neighborhood on the west side of this capital, an Afghan police commander told Efe, though other police sources said the death toll was 12.

The chief of Kabul Police District 6, Mulavi Zabiullah, said that the explosion occurred at around 3:30 pm in an area with a large concentration of the Hazara ethnic minority.

The same neighborhood was the scene Friday of a bombing by Islamic State (ISIS) that left eight dead and 18 injured, according to the latest figures provided by the spokesman for the Taliban government, Zabiullah Mujahid.

ISIS claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack in a post on the group’s Telegram channel that also put the number of fatalities at 20.

The back-to-back attacks come in the first week of Musharram, frequently described as the second-holiest month of the Muslim calendar after Ramadan.

Musharram includes Ashura, perhaps the single most significant religious observance for Shia Muslims, who ISIS and other Sunni militant groups regard as apostates.

ISIS claimed responsibility for several attacks on the Shiite community in Kabul during Ramadan, including the April 21 bombing at a mosque that resulted in 12 deaths.

Days after the strike on the mosque, six people perished and 15 were wounded in blasts at schools serving the mainly Shiite Hazaras.

In the absence of recent census data, researchers estimate that Shiites account for anywhere from 10 percent to 20 percent of Afghanistan’s 39 million inhabitant.

Since seizing power a year ago as the United States ended its military presence in Afghanistan after nearly two decades, the Taliban have struggled to bring genuine peace to the long-suffering country by eliminating the threat from ISIS. EFE lk-mvg/dr

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