The Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for two explosions that rocked Kabul on Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, at least 8 people were killed when explosives placed near a vegetable cart detonated in a crowded Shi’ite neighborhood in Western Kabul. Though police say the blast injured 18, an unnamed Taliban official stated that more than 50 people were killed and injured, including women and children, according to Reuters. The source added that it was likely the death toll would increase since many of the wounded had critical injuries.
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A second bomb exploded Saturday morning on a busy street in a shopping area of Western Kabul, injuring at least 22 people and killing 8, according to Reuters. This bomb also exploded in an area of the city where members of the minority Shi’ite Muslim community regularly meet. IS, which is a Sunni militant group, claimed responsibility for the second attack, Reuters stated. (RELATED: ISIS Issues Chilling Call For More Terror Attacks Against The West)
Afghanistan: bomb in Kabul shopping street injures at least 22 people https://t.co/LlgzjVUg2F
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Though IS does not control any territory within Afghanistan, its sleeper cells have attacked and continue to attack religious minorities in the country as well as security patrols composed of Taliban authorities, Reuters reported. The Taliban have said they will provide more protection for Shi’ite mosques and other facilities particularly as Shi’ite Muslims prepare for Ashura, a Shi’ite commemoration of the martyrdom of a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, the outlet continued. (RELATED: ISIS Affiliate Group Increases Attacks On Religious Minorities In Afghanistan)
IS has been operating in Afghanistan since 2014 and is seen as the country’s most serious security challenge since the Taliban takeover of the country last August, Reuters reported.