7 Killed in Suicide Attack on Shia Mosque in Afghanistan

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At least seven people were tragically killed and 15 others injured in a suicide blast that targeted a Shia mosque in northern Afghanistan on Friday. The Taliban government confirmed the attack, which occurred in the capital of Baghlan province during Friday prayers at the Imam Zaman mosque.

Despite a significant reduction in the number of bomb blasts and suicide attacks since the Taliban took power in August 2021, several armed groups, including the regional branch of the Islamic State organization, continue to pose a threat.

The responsibility for the attack has not been claimed by any group as of now. The incident prompted security and investigative forces to launch an investigation into the tragic event. Mustafa Asadullah Hashimi, the provincial information and media chief, confirmed the casualties and stated that investigations are still ongoing.

A source from Baghlan Provincial Hospital, who preferred to remain anonymous, reported a higher casualty count. According to the source, the hospital received 19 bodies and 40 wounded patients. Some of the injured were also taken to private hospitals in the area.

Witnesses described the aftermath of the blast as chaotic and devastating. Local resident Abdul Hamid recounted hearing a “terrible sound” when the bomb detonated and witnessing a large number of casualties being transferred to the hospital. Another local mentioned that security forces were securing the area and keeping people away.

The Islamic State group’s regional chapter has previously targeted Shia individuals, considering them heretics. Although the Taliban and IS share a conservative Sunni ideology, the new rulers of Kabul have vowed to protect ethnic and religious minority groups.

IS aims to establish a global “caliphate,” while the Taliban’s objective is to govern an independent Afghanistan with formal ties to other nations. Since the Taliban’s return to power, IS has carried out attacks on diplomatic missions, ministry buildings, and assassinations of provincial governors.

They were also responsible for a devastating bombing in September 2022 at a study hall in a Shia neighborhood, resulting in the deaths of at least 53 people, including 46 girls and young women. A UN Security Council report in May revealed that IS has conducted over 190 suicide bombings since 2022, causing more than 1,300 casualties.

The attack on the Shia mosque reflects the ongoing efforts of IS to destabilize the region and ignite sectarian conflicts. The Afghan authorities are committed to investigating this tragic incident and ensuring the safety and security of all religious communities in the country.

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