Home / World News / Nine killed as bombing targets gathering of Shia Hazaras in Afghan capital

Nine killed as bombing targets gathering of Shia Hazaras in Afghan capital

At least nine people have been killed and 18 others injured in a bomb attack near a Shia mosque in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

The casualties were caused after an attacker, who had been stopped at a nearby security checkpoint, set off an explosive device he was carrying, said Nasrat Rahimi, a deputy Interior Ministry spokesman.

Rahimi said the assailant apparently sought to target crowds comprising members of Afghanistan’s Shia Hazara community. They had gathered to commemorate Abdul Ali Mazari, a Hazara political leader killed by the Taliban militant group in 1995.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the deadly assault.

Afghan security forces keep watch near the site of an explosion in Kabul on March 9, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

The Hazara community, the poorest of the country’s ethnic groups, accounts for about 22 percent of Afghanistan’s population.

Its members have been targeted in several large-scale kidnappings and killings across Afghanistan in the past, prompting demonstrations and sit-ins in Kabul and elsewhere.

Last December, dozens were killed in an attack on a Shia cultural center claimed by the Daesh Takfiri terror group, which has been growing in size and expanding its operations in the country over the past two years.

Daesh terrorists and Taliban militants also massacred dozens of civilians, mostly Shia Hazaras, during an attack on a village in Afghanistan’s northern province of Sar-e Pul last August.

In other developments, the Taliban launched a deadly assault overnight on an army outpost in a remote region of northern Takhar province, killing six soldiers and wounding five, Defense Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said.

Members of the local police who were sent to assist the soldiers were ambushed by the Taliban while on their way to the outpost in the remote district of Khwaja Ghar.

Ten local policemen were killed and nine were wounded in the ambush, provincial police spokesman Khali Aseir said.

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