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Explosion at Afghan Mosque Kills at Least 10

KABUL, Afghanistan — An explosion at a Shiite mosque in northern Afghanistan on Thursday killed no less than 10 individuals and wounded greater than two dozen others, native officers mentioned, including to the toll of a bloody week for one of many nation’s non secular minorities.

The assault, throughout afternoon prayers on the Seh Dokan mosque within the heart of Mazar-i-Sharif, one of many nation’s financial hubs with a bustling downtown of alleyway retailers, got here simply two days after a number of explosions ripped by way of a predominantly Shiite neighborhood in Kabul, the capital.

Whereas the main points of the assault on the mosque had been murky, unverified movies shot contained in the constructing confirmed an quantity of carnage that has change into all too acquainted in Afghanistan over 4 many years of battle.

“Thus far we’ve got 12 lifeless and 35 injured. Eight of them are in unhealthy situation,” mentioned Dr. Gaousuddin Anwari, the director of Abu Ali Sina-e-Balkhi Hospital in Mazar-i-Sharif. Abdul Nafi Takor, a spokesman for the Inside Ministry, provided a special evaluation, saying that 10 individuals had been killed.

A Taliban official within the province mentioned it was unclear what brought about the explosion, however the Islamic State’s affiliate in Afghanistan, often known as Islamic State Khorasan, claimed accountability for the blast, in accordance with SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks extremist organizations.

“I used to be in my pharmacy after I heard the sound of an explosion,” mentioned Nazir Samim, a resident of Mazar-i-Sharif. “I went to the mosque to assist the wounded, however the Taliban didn’t enable me to enter.”

Across the time of the mosque blast, an explosion on a minibus in Kunduz metropolis, the capital of the province of the identical title and about 100 miles to the east, killed no less than one particular person, mentioned Mr. Takor. No group claimed accountability for that assault.

On Tuesday, a number of explosions outdoors an training heart and a public highschool within the western Kabul neighborhood of Dasht-e-Barchi killed no less than six individuals and wounded no less than a dozen extra.

The realm, residence to a big Hazara neighborhood, an ethnic minority that’s predominantly Shiite, was ceaselessly focused by each the Taliban and the Islamic State over the past 20 years, when the nation’s Western-backed authorities was in energy.

For the reason that Taliban took management of the nation in August, the hard-line Sunni non secular group has tried to remain to true to its bedrock pledge of offering safety to Afghans of all non secular teams and ethnicities — despite the fact that it focused a few of them through the previous 20 years and killed 1000’s of Hazaras throughout its first tenure within the Nineties.

Regardless of that pledge, Shiites, particularly Hazaras, have come beneath frequent assault, primarily from the Islamic State’s affiliate within the nation, over the previous eight months.

Final 12 months, Islamic State bombings of Shiite mosques in Kandahar and Kunduz killed and wounded dozens. Within the Dasht-e-Barchi space of Kabul, a sequence of unclaimed automobile bombings have usually killed Hazaras, although in comparatively small numbers.

On Monday, the Islamic State claimed it had carried out a rocket assault from Haritan, a border city roughly 50 miles north of Mazar-i-Sharif, on a army base in Uzbekistan, however the Uzbek authorities denied any such assault occurred.

The extremist group has slowly gathered energy in current months, regardless of the Taliban’s makes an attempt to stamp out its fighters within the nation’s east.

Yaqoob Akbary reported from Kabul, and Thomas Gibbons-Neff from Kharkiv, Ukraine. Najim Rahim contributed reporting from New York.

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