Blast in crowded place in Kabul kills 8 people

The city of Kabul, July 2021.

At least eight people were killed and more than 18 others were wounded in an explosion at a crowded residential area and a market in the west of Kabul on Friday afternoon, a Taliban spokesman confirmed.

Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack.

“The explosion happened in a crowded place,” Kabul police command spokesman for the Taliban, Khalid Zadran, said in a statement.

A source from Kabul said the explosives were placed in a vegetable cart on a roadside in the Sar-e-Karez area in District 6 of Kabul, an area that witnessed two back-to-back explosions in June 2021 in which nearly 10 civilians were killed and 12 more were wounded.

Videos on social media showed a big crowd near the blast scene, looking for safe places to escape. The blast happened near a religious place where the Shiite community commemorates Muharram, one of the four sacred months of the year in the Islamic calender.

Sources said that the number of casualties is at least 11 people dead and 24 more wounded.

UN special rapporteur for Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, condemned the attack and said: “the Taliban de facto authorities are responsible for protecting all Afghans.”

He said perpetrators of “international crimes” must be brought to justice.

Religious places of the Hazara community in Afghanistan have often been vulnerable to such attacks. This is the fourth major attack on such places since the Taliban takeover. Attacks on mosques in Kandahar, Balkh and Kunduz left scores of civilians dead and wounded.

The attack in Kabul comes two days after a gunfight in the Kart-e-Sakhi area in the west of Kabul in which the Taliban said Daesh fighters had hidden in a house in the area.

The Shiite community has already expressed its concerns about the safety of their religious ceremonies and has asked the Taliban to pay serious attention to this matter.