Baqir ul Olum mosque where the bomber detonated a suicide vest
(Image via Reuters)
Wilayat Khorasan, Islamic State group in Afghanistan claimed responsibility for an attack on the Baqir ul Olum mosque, Kabul killing at least 27 people and wounding 40 others according to Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry. The press release from IS came via its media wing, Amaq news agency.
Worshippers were gathered to commemorate the Day of Arbaeen, which occurs 40 days after Ashura when Hussain ibn Ali, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was martyred in the Battle of Karbala. At around 12:30 local time (08:00 GMT) asuicide bomber detonated his explosives covering the mosque in blood and the remains of shattered bodies.
Ewaz Ali, 50 told Associated Press, “I was inside the mosque and the Mullah was reading the prayer…suddenly a huge explosion happened, then everywhere was dark.” Women and children were among the victims.
The Taliban were quick to deny any connection to the incident saying they do not target mosques. Spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted, “clarification… The attack in Kabul today has nothing to do with the Mujahidin of Islamic Emirate.”
Aftermath of bombing Baqir ul Olum mosque (Image via APA)
Government Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah stated,
“I strongly condemn the suicide attack targeting mourners in a mosque in Kabul earlier this afternoon. I condole with victim families. This attack targeted innocent civilians -including children- in a holy place. It is a war crime and an act against Islam and humanity. This attack is against religions, faiths, humanity, human ideologies and every human belief. This is a sign of barbarism and cruelty. Afghans care for the blood of their people. Our security forces will hold the perpetrators accountable by bringing them to justice. Afghan lives matter. These terrorists and their harboring states will pay a heavy price for these atrocities against the Afghan people.”
Referring to the issue of sectarian violence he said, “While we mourn the loss of our loved ones, we must make sure to work for unity and avoid the enemy plots that divide us by titles.”
Wounded being taken to hospital (Image via AFP)
UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) put out a press statement with Ms. Kardel acting head, stating the organization, “expresses its revulsion at this latest effort by extremists to stoke sectarian violence in Afghanistan…..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.”
Full UN statement can be read on the following link,
IS released photo of Hamza Al-Khurasani who allegedly detonated his suicide vest against Shiite mourners Kabul (Image via Abdul Mateen Imran)
Wilayat Khorasan first emerged in Afghanistan in the summer of 2014 and formed when a number of commanders defected from the Taliban. Since then the group has carried out a number of attacks in the country and across the border in Pakistan. US drone strikes have targeted top leaders and there have been ongoing clashes with Taliban.
Back in October, IS claimed responsibility for targeting the Karte Sakhi Shia shrine in Kabul, Afghanistan killing 18 people and wounding at least 36 others. See following link,
They also claimed responsibility for a blast in Kabul against Shia Hazara taking part in a protest on the 23rd July to draw attention to the rerouting of the TUTAP (Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan) power line. See below,
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad . She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.