Eight people were killed, and eighteen others were injured, Friday, August 5, in a bomb attack in a Shiite district of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, according to a report released by the Afghan police.
The attack was claimed in the early evening in a press release by the jihadist group Islamic State (IS), which has already struck the Afghan Shiite community on several occasions. The bomb was placed “in a handcart full of vegetables”on a busy shopping street in western Kabul, Kabul police spokesman Khalid Zadran said.
The attack came as Shiites are due to commemorate Ashura on Monday, an important religious holiday when worshipers gather in mosques and take part in processions.
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“Security teams are trying to find the perpetrators” of the attack, added Khalid Zadran, adding that some injured people are “in critical condition”. “The ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’ strongly condemns this cowardly act which is the work of those who are enemies of Islam and the country”Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a tweet.
The Shiite community, which is essentially Hazara and represents between 10 and 20% of the 40 million Afghans, has long been persecuted in this Sunni-majority country.
The number of bombings has declined in Afghanistan since the Taliban seized power nearly a year ago, but a series of deadly bomb attacks, in which dozens of people were killed, have hit the country at the end of April, during the holy month of Ramadan, and at the end of May.
Most were claimed by IS, which primarily targets Afghan Shia, Sufi and Sikh religious minorities and views the Shia minority as heretics. The Taliban claim to have defeated ISIS in the country, but analysts believe that the extremist group is still the main security challenge for the new Afghan power.