EU condemns Shia mosque bombing, says rights of all groups must be protected

Governments, organizations and individuals around the world have condemned the suicide bombing at a Shia mosque in Baghlan province during Friday prayers, and have called for a full investigation into the attack.

The incident happened at the Imam Zaman mosque in Pul-e-Khumri on Friday, October 13, when a suicide bomber stormed the mosque. Seven people were killed and at least 15 were wounded.

The European Union said in a statement on Saturday that it “condemns in the strongest possible terms the suicide attack on a Shia Mosque in Pul-e-Khumri, Baghlan province targeting worshippers during Friday prayers and killing at least seven of them.”

“Attacks that deliberately target civilians are violations of fundamental human rights and international humanitarian law. The human rights of all Afghans, including the right to life and the rights of all ethnic and religious communities, have to be protected and respected,” the EU’s statement read.

Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack and said in a statement 50 people were killed. However the Taliban has put the death toll at seven.

Raffaella Iodice, the EU’s Chargée d’Affaires to Afghanistan also posted a message on X and said: “Such a senseless act of violence primarily harms innocent civilians. My thoughts are with those mourning the loss of a loved one.”

The US Secretary-General’s Spokesman Stephane Dujarric addressed a press conference later in the day and referred to UNAMA’s message of condolences. He said: “I also want to flag that the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) today expressed its deep sorrow and condolences to all those killed and wounded in this afternoon’s (Friday’s) explosion in a Shia mosque in Pul-e Khumri.”

On Friday UNAMA said in a post on X that it is working on the ground to establish facts about the incident.

Daesh later claimed responsibility for the attack. 

US special envoy for Afghanistan’s human rights and women’s rights, Rina Amiri, also conveyed her condolences in a message on X. She said “this brutality must end.”

Amiri went on to say that the attacks against the Shia community are a “threat to the diversity that defines Afghanistan.”

“Distressed to hear of the wounding & killing of worshippers at the Pule Khumri Shia mosque,” she said. “My deepest condolences to the families… There has been enough suffering.”

The Taliban have constantly emphasized that the Daesh Khorasan group (ISIS-K) has been suppressed. However many countries around the world have said otherwise and voiced concerns regarding activities of various terrorist groups including Daesh in the country.

Sediq Shinwari, a political analyst, said the Taliban needs to take a good look at the situation involving Daesh.

“The current security situation causes worry to the neighboring and world countries,” he said. “The Taliban should pay serious attention to these concerns, otherwise, the neighboring countries of Afghanistan will take new actions.”

The UN Security Council members in their recent report on the security situation in Afghanistan and the region, assess the Daesh groups in Iraq and Afghanistan as the most serious terrorist threat in Afghanistan and the region.

They also estimate the number of people affiliated to Daesh Khorasan to be between 4,000 and 6,000 in Afghanistan.