The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for two bombings in Kabul on Friday and Saturday.
At least eight people were killed on Friday when explosives placed near a vegetable cart detonated in a crowded Shiite community in western Kabul. While police said 18 people were injured in the blast, a Taliban official who spoke on condition of anonymity said more than 50 people, including women and children, were killed and injured, according to Reuters. The death toll is likely to rise as many of the wounded are seriously injured, the source added.
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A second bomb exploded on a busy street in Kabul’s western shopping district on Saturday morning, injuring at least 22 people and killing eight, according to Reuters. The bomb also exploded in an area where members of the city’s minority Shiite Muslim community often gather. Reuters said the Sunni militant group IS claimed responsibility for the second attack. (Related: ISIS makes creepy call for more terror attacks on the West)
Afghanistan: Kabul shopping street bomb wounds at least 22 https://t.co/LlgzjVUg2F
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While ISIS does not control any territory inside Afghanistan, its latent cells have and continue to target religious minorities in the country as well as security patrols made up of Taliban authorities, according to Reuters. The Taliban say they will provide more protection for Shiite mosques and other facilities, especially as Shiite Muslims prepare for Ashura, a Shiite memorial to the martyrdom of the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed . (Related: ISIS-affiliated groups increase attacks on Afghan religious minorities)
IS has been operating in Afghanistan since 2014 and is seen as the country’s most serious security challenge since the Taliban took over the country last August, Reuters reported.