IS claims bombing at Shiite center in northern Afghanistan
ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a bombing over the weekend at a cultural center run by the minority Shiite community in northern Afghanistan that killed one person and wounded eight people.
The Tabian center of the Hazaras in Balkh’s provincial capital, Mazar-e-Sharif, was struck on Saturday, during an event honoring local journalists.
The regional affiliate of IS — known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province — is a key rival of the Taliban and has frequently targeted members of Afghanistan’s Shiite minority. The militant group has increased its attacks in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover of the country in August 2021. IS attacks have also included Taliban patrols.
IS said in a statement posted on its media arm, the Aamaq news agency, that the explosives were planted in a bag that was left hidden at the center. The statements said those targeted work for an establishment “that engaged in war” against IS.
Abdul Nafi Takor, the Taliban-appointed spokesman for the interior ministry said the person killed was a security guard at the center. Three children were among the eight wounded.
The attack on the center came two days after a bombing in Mazar-e-Sharif killed the provincial governor, Daud Muzmal, and two others. Four people were wounded. The Islamic State group also claimed responsibility for that assassination on Thursday.