VOA, November 7, 2023
Bus Bombing in Kabul Kills 7 Afghan Civilians
The Third Attack in less than a Month Against Members of the Ethnic Hazara Shiite Community
Taliban officials in Afghanistan said Tuesday that a bomb blast ripped through a minibus in Kabul, killing at least seven civilians and wounding 20 others.
A police spokesman confirmed the casualties, saying the evening deadly bombing occurred in the western Dashti Barchi area, a predominantly Shi'ite Muslim neighborhood in the Afghan capital.
The spokesman, Khalid Zadran, said an investigation into the attack was underway.
The United Nations special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan denounced the bombing, saying it was the third attack in less than a month against members of the ethnic Hazara Shiite community.
“I urge a full, transparent investigation with a view to identifying perpetrators and holding them accountable,” Richard Bennett wrote on X.
Suspicion fell on the regional branch of Islamic State: the Islamic State-Khorasan or IS-K, which later claimed the attack.
The group has previously carried out and claimed attacks targeting Afghan Shi'ite processions, worship places, and schools in Kabul and elsewhere in the country.
Last month, IS-K carried out two bomb attacks targeting a gym in Dashti Barchi and a gathering of Shi'ite clerics in the northern Afghan province of Baghlan. The blast killed four people and 10 religious scholars, respectively.
The Taliban have conducted repeated counterterrorism operations against IS-K hideouts in the country since seizing power two years ago, killing several key IS-K commanders. But the group remains a critical security challenge for de facto Afghan authorities.
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