Iran has strongly condemned the deadly terrorist attack in the Afghan capital Kabul and called on the caretaker Taliban government in the country to provide the mourners with heightened security.
“It is expected that caretaker Taliban government officials strengthen security measures for mourners at gatherings and mosques,” Foreign Ministry spokesman, Nasser Kanaani, said late on Friday, expressing deep sorrow for the victims of the bloody blast.
At least eight people were killed and 18 others injured in the blast during a community mourning gathering in a Shia residential area in Kabul on Friday afternoon.
According to Khalid Zadran, a police spokesman, the explosion happened in a crowded area.
Initial investigations revealed that explosives were placed in a vegetable cart, with the blast resulting in the killing and wounding of dozens of people, including women and children, Reuters reported citing a senior Taliban security official, who declined to be named.
“There is a possibility that the death toll will increase because most of the wounded people had critical wounds,” he said.
Later on Friday, the Daesh terror group claimed responsibility for the attack via its social media accounts.
Daesh is seen as Afghanistan’s most serious security challenge. It has a foothold in eastern and northern Afghanistan, particularly in Nangarhar, which is regarded as its base in the war-torn country. It has recently claimed several attacks across Afghanistan.
Afghans, prominently the minority Shia community, have been targeted in several large-scale kidnappings and killings across the country.
In May last year at least 85 people — mainly girl students — were killed and about 300 wounded when three bombs exploded near their school in the Shia-dominated Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood of Kabul.
In October 2020, Daesh admitted attacking an educational center in the same area that killed 24 people, including students.
In May 2020, the terrorist group was blamed for a bloody attack on a hospital’s maternity ward in the same neighborhood that killed 25 people, including mothers.
Security in Afghanistan has vastly improved since the Taliban’s takeover of the country. However, several attacks are reported throughout the country from time to time.
The Taliban, who had previously ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, took power again on August 15 last year as the US was in the middle of a chaotic troop withdrawal. The group announced the formation of a caretaker government on September 7.
Afghan mourning gatherings during the Islamic calendar month of Muharram have been targeted in recent years.
Shia Muslims around the world usually mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (AS), the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), during the first 10 days of Muharram which falls on July 30 this year.