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Taliban: Bomb explosion kills 2 people in Shiite area of ​​Kabul

Written by Javed Iqbal

ISLAMABAD — A bomb exploded Saturday in a minority Shiite neighborhood in the Afghan capital, killing at least two people and wounding 22, a Taliban official said.

According to Khalid Zadran, the Taliban-appointed spokesman for Kabul’s police chief, the explosion occurred in western Kabul’s Puli-e Sokhta area. One of the injured was in critical condition, he added.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing, but blame is likely to fall on the Islamic State group, which has previously targeted Afghanistan’s minority Shiites in widespread attacks.

IS’s regional affiliate, known as the Islamic State in Khorasan province, has stepped up attacks on mosques and minorities across the country since the Taliban took power last August.

IS, which emerged in eastern Afghanistan in 2014, is seen as the biggest security challenge facing the country’s new Taliban rulers. After taking power a year ago, the Taliban have launched a sweeping campaign against IS.

On Friday, a bomb hidden in a cart exploded near a mosque in another Shiite area of ​​Kabul, killing at least eight people and wounding 18. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.

On Wednesday, a gun battle between the Taliban and IS gunmen killed five, including two Taliban fighters, near the Sakhi shrine in the Karti Sakhi neighborhood of the Afghan capital. The attack took place amid preparations for Ashoura, which commemorates the 7th-century death in battle of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

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Javed Iqbal

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