Afghanistan: a bomb on a shopping street in Kabul injures at least 22 people | Afghanistan

On Saturday, a bomb exploded on a busy shopping street in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, injuring at least 22 people, hospital officials and witnesses said.

The outbreak took place in the western district of the city, where members of the Shi’ite Muslim minority regularly meet.

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

The Taliban Ministry of the Interior said there was an investigative team at the site of the blast to assist the injured and assess the casualties.

No group of militants has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack that occurred before Ashura, commemorating the martyrdom of Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, marked mostly by Shi’ite Muslims.

At least eight people were killed and 18 injured on Friday in an explosion in Kabul by Islamic State, a Sunni group of Muslim militants.

IS does not control any territory in Afghanistan, but has deadly sleeper cells that target the country’s religious minorities as well as Taliban patrols.

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

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

No current census data are available, but Afghanistan’s Shi’ite community is estimated to have between 10% and 20% of its 39 million inhabitants, including Persian-speaking Tajiks, Pashtuns and Hazaras.

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