KABUL (TIP): At least 41 persons were killed when an Islamic State suicide bomber struck a Shiite cultural center in Kabul, December 28
An AFP report says that the attack may have targeted the pro-Iran Afghan Voice news agency housed in the two-story building. The Sunni extremists of IS view Shiite Muslims as apostates and have repeatedly attacked Afghanistan‘s Shiite minority and targets linked to neighboring Iran.
The attack wounded more than 80 persons, many of whom suffered severe burns. The center was marking the anniversary of the 1979 Soviet invasion with a seminar about the event’s impact on the country.
Local Shiite leader Abdul Hussain Ramazandada said the bomber slipped into an academic seminar at the center and blew himself up among the participants. More bombs went off just outside the center as people fled.
The IS-linked Aamaq news agency said four bombs were used in the assault, one strapped to the suicide attacker. It said the center was funded by Iran and used to propagate Shiite beliefs.
Ali Reza Ahmadi, a journalist with Afghan Voice, said he leaped from the window of his second-floor office after the first bomb went off and saw flames pouring from the basement.
“I jumped from the roof toward the basement, yelling at people to get water to put out the fire,” he said. At nearby Istiqlal Hospital, Director Mohammed Sabir Nasib said the emergency room was overwhelmed. Additional doctors and nurses were called in to help. At the height of the crisis, more than 50 medics were working to save the wounded.
By late afternoon, Health Ministry spokesman Wahid Mujro said 41 people were dead and 84 others wounded. The IS affiliate in Afghanistan, which emerged in 2014 at around the same time the group declared a caliphate in large parts of Syria and Iraq, has vowed to target Shiites.
(Source: The Tribune)