ISLAMABAD (AP) — A bomb went off Saturday in a minority Shiite neighborhood of the Afghan capital, killing at least two people and wounding 22, a Taliban official said.
According to Khalid Zadran, the Taliban-appointed spokesman for the Kabul police chief, the explosion occurred in western Kabul's Puli-e Sokhta area. One of the wounded was in critical condition, he added.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing, but blame is likely to fall on the Islamic State group, which has targeted Afghanistan’s minority Shiites in large-scale attacks in the past.
The regional affiliate of IS, known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, has increased attacks on mosques and minorities across the country since the Taliban seized power last August.
IS, which emerged in eastern Afghanistan in 2014, is seen as the greatest security challenge facing the country’s new Taliban rulers. Following their takeover a year ago, the Taliban have launched a sweeping crackdown on IS.
On Friday, a bomb hidden in a cart went off near a mosque in another Shiite area of Kabul, killing at least eight people and wounding 18. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for that attack.
On Wednesday, a gunbattle between the Taliban and IS gunmen killed five, including two Taliban fighters, near the Sakhi shrine in the Karti Sakhi neighborhood of the Afghan capital. The attack took place amid preparations for Ashoura, which commemorates the 7th century death in battle of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.