Thursday, August 18, 2022

Four bombs kill at least 16 in Afghanistan

Four bombs kill at least 16 in Afghanistan
May 26, 2022 Web Desk

KABUL (AFP) - The death toll from four bombs that ripped through minibuses and a mosque in Afghanistan has risen to at least 16, officials said Thursday, with some of the attacks.

A top UN expert called on Taliban authorities to investigate Wednesday's attacks, as well as a series of previous deadly blasts that targeted members of the minority Shiite and Sufi communities.

While the number of bombings has dropped across the country since the Taliban seized power in August, several fatal attacks rocked the country last month during Ramadan.

On Wednesday, at least 10 people were killed when three bombs placed on separate minibuses exploded in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, a health official and police said.

Najibullah Tawana, head of the Balkh health department, said three women were among the 10 killed in the blasts.

Late on Wednesday one other bomb exploded inside a mosque in the capital Kabul, killing six and wounding 18, according to police spokesman Khalid Zadran.

The interior ministry said the bomb was placed inside a fan in the mosque.

It was unclear whether Wednesday's bombings targeted any specific community, and no group has so far claimed responsibility for the Kabul attack.

Crimes against humanity:

Dozens of civilians were killed in Kabul and other cities in primarily sectarian attacks during the holy month of Ramadan, which ended on April 30 in Afghanistan, with some claimed by IS.

Many of those attacks targeted the Shiite Hazaras and Sufi communities.

UN special rapporteur on human rights in Afghanistan Richard Bennett told reporters such attacks "reflect elements of an organisational policy" and so bear the "hallmarks of crimes against humanity".

Bennett called for an investigation as he wrapped up his visit to Afghanistan, where he met several Taliban officials and visited some of the sites targeted by recent attacks.

On April 29, at least 10 people were killed in a mosque in Kabul in an attack that appeared to target members of the minority Sufi community performing rituals.

A week earlier, a bomb at a mosque in Mazar-i-Sharif killed at least 12 worshippers and wounded scores more.

The deadliest attack during Ramadan came in the northern city of Kunduz, where another bomb targeting Sufi worshippers tore through a mosque on April 22.

At least 33 people were killed in that blast and scores more were wounded.

The regional branch of IS in Afghanistan has repeatedly targeted minorities.