A bomb explosion in Kabul kills eight people and injures more than 20

General street view 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 injured 22, hospital officials and witnesses said.

A bomb exploded in the city’s western district where members of the Shi’ite Muslim minority regularly meet. Islamic State, a Sunni group of Muslim fighters, pleaded guilty to the attack, the group reported on its Telegram channel.

A senior doctor at a private hospital said at least eight people had died and 22 were injured.

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A spokesman for the Ministry of Internal Affairs said there was an investigative team at the site of the blast to assist the injured and assess the victims.

A video posted on the Internet showed ambulances rushing to the scene, which is also near the bus stops.

The attack was preceded by Ashura, commemorating the martyrdom of Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, marked mainly by Shi’ite Muslims.

At least eight people were killed and 18 injured in the Islamic State blast in Kabul on Friday. read more

Islamic State does not control any territory in Afghanistan, but it does have sleeper cells that attack the country’s religious minorities, as well as patrols by the ruling Taliban.

The Sunni Muslim Taliban authorities, which took over Afghanistan last August after a two-decade rebellion, said they would provide better protection to Shi’ite mosques and other facilities.

Sayed Kazum Hojat, a Shiite religious scholar based in Kabul, said the Taliban government has increased security against Ashura but should improve vigilance.

There are no current census data, but it is estimated that the Shi’ite community is between 10 and 20% of the 39 million population, including Persian-speaking Tajiks, Pashtuns, and Hazaras.

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Reporting by Kabul Editors Editing: Andrew Heavens, Mark Heinrich and Frances Kerry

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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