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

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

The explosion occurred in a western district of the city where members of the minority Shia Muslim community regularly gather.

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

The Taliban Interior Ministry said a team of investigators was at the site of the blast to help the injured and assess casualties.

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

On Friday, at least eight people were killed and 18 injured 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 target the country’s religious minorities as well as Taliban patrols.

Sunni Muslim Taliban authorities, which took control of Afghanistan in August last year after a two-decade insurgency, said they would provide more protection to Shia mosques and other facilities.

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

There is no up-to-date census data, 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. .

theguardian Gt

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