Deadly attacks target defiant Shiite worshipers in Afghanistan amid security fears - Washingtonpst
A second deadly attack on Shiite worshipers in two days killed at least 17 people and wounded 36 others when a remote-controlled bomb exploded outside a mosque in northern Afghanistan, as crowds in the capital and elsewhere gathered defiantly to commemorate one of Islam’s holiest days.
The blast near the city of Mazar-e Sharif, home to one of Afghanistan’s most important Shiite shrines, followed a mass-casualty attack Tuesday in Kabul at a Shiite shrine that raised fears of further violence during the Shiite processions and gatherings.
But Shiites refused official appeals to stay off the streets, packing areas in Kabul and elsewhere for events marking Ashura, which ends a period of mourning for Imam Hussein, a grandson of the prophet Muhammad, who was killed in battle in the 7th century.
The Islamic State claimed Wednesday that it was involved in orchestrating the Kabul attack, according to the group’s media wing. The United Nations said 19 civilians were killed and more than 50 wounded when an attacker opened fire on Shiite worshipers in the “abhorrent” assault in Kabul on Tuesday night.
Even before Tuesday’s deadly violence, the Afghan government had urged people not to congregate during Ashura and expose themselves to danger. Five years ago, at another shrine in Kabul on Ashura, 70 people were killed in a suicide bombing claimed by a violent Sunni group from Pakistan. - Read More