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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

Explosions near Kabul Shia Shrine Kill 6 during New Year Celebrations

KABUL – Three back-to-back explosions near a Shia shrine in the Afghan capital left at least six people dead and 23 injured on Thursday as people had gathered to mark the holiday of Nawroz, the Persian New Year.

The explosion took place around 9:30 am near Kart-e-Sakhi shrine in Kabul city as thousands of people thronged the holy place to celebrate the arrival of new spring that is widely celebrated in many parts of Afghanistan, particularly by its Shia minority.

Wahidullah Mayar, a health ministry spokesperson, told EFE that six people were killed and 23 injured.

Mayar said the casualty from the bombings in the largely Shia neighborhood could rise because the gathering at the shrine was large.

Basir Mujahid, spokesperson for Kabul Police told EFE that IEDs were placed in the area and were exploded when people were walking towards the shrine.

No militant group immediately claimed the responsibility for the attack.

Exactly a year ago, a suicide attack by the Islamic State in the same place had killed more than 30 people and left 65 wounded during the New Year celebrations.

The victims were also from the Shia community, and were heading to the Kart-e-Sakhi shrine for New Year celebrations.

Members of the Shia minority community are often targeted by insurgent groups such as the Taliban and the Islamic State in Afghanistan.

Eariler this month, three people were killed and 22 were wounded in a mortar attack near an event to mark the death anniversary of Abdul Ali Mazari, a Hazara leader, in the Afghan capital.

Several distinguished politicians, including head of State Abdullah Abdullah, were present at the event.

The event was attended by thousands of people, including candidates for the forthcoming general elections in July, who had gathered to pay their respects to Mazari – founder of the Hazara party Hezbe Wahdat – who was killed by the Taliban in 1995.

The commemoration of the Hazara leader’s death anniversary was also targeted last year, when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance of the event after he was stopped by the security forces.

Kabul has been witnessing one of its bloodiest periods with frequent rebel strikes, including an attack in January last year when an ambulance bomb exploded in the middle of the street in downtown killing over 100 people.

 

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