By Zahra Memon
Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, was attacked by suicide bombs, which killed 30 people and left more than 70 people injured, according to CNN. According to police reports, the bomber detonated his bomb toward the end of a prayer service in the Baqir-ul Ulom mosque of Kabul, CNN reported.
“I was inside the mosque and the Mullah was reading the prayer, suddenly a huge explosion happened then everywhere was dark,” said Ewad Ali who sustained minor injuries, according to the Washington Times.
At first, it was believed that this attack was conducted by the Taliban members residing in Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. However, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid denied any connection to the attack, according to BBC. “We condemn this blast,” Mujahid said. “This act cannot be our work and has nothing to do with us.”
According to BBC, the Afghan government Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said via Twitter, “This attack targeted innocent civilians—including children—in a holy place. It is a war crime and an act against Islam and humanity.” ISIS took full responsibility for their actions.
A statement was published in Amaq News Agency expressing that they are responsible for carrying out this suicide bomb attack. The statement disclosed that this attack was aimed at a Shia gathering, however, information regarding the identity of the attacker was not mentioned, according to CNN. The Sunni terror group’s Afghan affiliate has attacked Shiites in the captial before.
ISIS took responsibility in a statement that was posted to its offical Amaq News Agency, stating one of its fighters had targeted a Shiite congregation hall, according to The Wall Street Journal. Many representatives from Afghanistan began to speak out about this upsetting attack.
“This appalling attack on worshipers is an atrocity,” said Pernille Kardel, the United Nation Secretary-General’s deputy special representative for Afghanista, according to CNN. “Religious and ethnic tolerance are values the Afghan people hold strong, and I urge the Afghan authorities to do everything possible to defend Afghans of all faiths.”
Monday’s bombing was the third major attack targeting Hazara’s in Kabul since a blast in July that killed more than 80 people at a protest. It was one of the deadliest attacks to strike the city since the Taliban was ousted in 2001, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The Islamic State first emerged in east Afghanistan in late 2014, when foreign forces were withdrawing, according to The Wall Street Journal. Over the past year, fighting with the Taliban has drastically decreased, and ISIS has changed its focus to carrying out high-profile attack in Kabul, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“We are very worried,” said Ahmad Behzed, a parlimentarian who is also a prominent member of a grassroots movement associated with the Hazaras, according to The Wall Street Journal. “This situation will further increase the violence in the country.”