At least nine killed by bomb explosions in minibuses in Afghan city

The latest bomb attacks in Afghanistan, aboard two minibuses in Mazar-i-Sharif, come a week after an explosion that killed 12 at a Shiite mosque, shown here, in the same city on April 21 of 2022.

Two bomb blasts aboard separate minibuses killed at least nine people Thursday in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, police said, a week after a deadly blast rocked a Shi’ite mosque in the northern city.

The number of violent public attacks in Afghanistan has decreased since the Taliban returned to power last August, but the Sunni Islamic State group has continued to target Shiites, whom it considers to be heretics.

Thursday’s blasts occurred within minutes of each other in different districts of Mazar-i-Sharif as travelers headed home to break the Ramadan fast from dawn to dusk, a spokesman for the Mazar-i-Sharif provincial police told AFP. Balkh, Asif Waziri.

“Afghanistan’s enemies are creating tension and division among our people.”

Images posted on social media showed one minibus engulfed in flames, while the other was vandalized by Taliban fighters transporting victims from the vehicle to hospitals.

That explosion was followed a day later by a separate bomb attack on another mosque in the northern city of Kunduz targeting the minority Sufi community.

In another attack, also targeting Shiites, two bombs detonated at a school in Kabul, killing six students.

Shiite Afghans, who are mostly from the Hazara community, make up 10 to 20 percent of Afghanistan’s population of 38 million.

IS is a Sunni Islamist group, like the Taliban, but the two are bitter rivals.

Taliban officials insist their forces have defeated IS, but analysts say the jihadist group remains a key security challenge.

“These attacks were targeting places that did not have enough security, such as mosques and a school, but now we have tightened security in those places,” he said.

Originally published as At Least Nine Dead in Minibus Bomb Explosions in Afghan City

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