Bomb blast in Kabul kills eight, injures more than 20

A general view of a street in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 5, 2022. REUTERS/Ali Khara

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KABUL, Aug 6 (Reuters) – A bomb blast on a busy shopping street in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Saturday killed at least eight people and wounded 22, hospital officials and witnesses said.

The bomb exploded in a western district of the city where members of the minority Shiite Muslim community regularly gather. Islamic State, a Sunni Muslim militant group, claimed responsibility for the attack, the group said on its Telegram channel.

A senior medical official at a private hospital said at least eight people were killed and 22 wounded.

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An Interior Ministry spokesman said an investigation team was at the blast site to assist the injured and assess casualties.

Video footage posted online showed ambulances rushing to the scene, which is also near bus stations.

The attack came before Ashura, a commemoration of the martyrdom of Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, which is marked mainly by Shiite Muslims.

On Friday, at least eight people were killed and 18 wounded in an explosion in Kabul carried out by the Islamic State. read more

The Islamic State does not control any territory in Afghanistan, but it has sleeper cells that have been attacking religious minorities in the country, as well as patrols from the ruling Taliban.

Sunni Muslim Taliban authorities, who took over Afghanistan in August last year after two decades of insurgency, have said they will provide more protection for mosques and other Shiite facilities.

Sayed Kazum Hojat, a Shiite religious scholar in Kabul, said the Taliban government had increased security ahead of Ashura but should improve surveillance.

Up-to-date census data does not exist, but estimates put the size of the Shia community at between 10 and 20% of the population of 39 million, including Persian-speaking Tajiks and Pashtuns, as well as Hazaras.

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Kabul Newsroom Information Edited by Andrew Heavens, Mark Heinrich and Frances Kerry

Our standards: the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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