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

Written by Javed Iqbal

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

The blast took place in a western district of the city where members of the minority Shiite community regularly meet.

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

That Taliban The Interior Ministry said an investigation team was at the blast site to help the injured and assess the victims.

No militant group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which came ahead of Ashura, a commemoration of the martyrdom of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, which is dominated by mainly Shia Muslims.

On Friday, at least eight people were killed and 18 wounded in an explosion in Kabul carried out by the Islamic State, a Sunni Muslim militant group.

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

Sunni Muslim Taliban authorities, who took over Afghanistan last August after a two-decade insurgency, have said they would provide more protection to Shiite mosques and other facilities.

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Sayed Kazum Hojat, a Shia religious scholar in Kabul, said the Taliban government had increased security ahead of Ashura but should improve vigilance against potential threats.

No up-to-date census data exists, but estimates put the size of Afghanistan’s Shia community at between 10% and 20% of the 39 million population, including Persian-speaking Tajiks and Pashtuns as well as Hazaras.

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Javed Iqbal

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