UNAMA urges probe into ‘surge of attacks on Shia community in Afghanistan’

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has called for a thorough investigation into the recent wave of attacks on the Shia community, emphasizing the imperative need for heightened protection for those at risk.

“In the last month, Afghanistan has witnessed an alarming escalation of violence against the Shia Hazara community, notably in Kabul, Baghlan, and most recently in Herat,” stated UNAMA on X, highlighting the urgency for increased security measures.

Over the past two weeks, two separate attacks occurred in the Shia-populated Jibril area of Herat in the west, resulting in at least eight casualties, including four Shia clerics. Both incidents were perpetrated by unidentified gunmen.

UN Special Rapporteur Richard Bennett has also advocated for a comprehensive investigation into the recent attacks.

On December 3, thousands of Herat residents gathered for a rally in Jibril area preceding the funeral of six individuals killed in the previous day’s attack. The community demanded a thorough investigation and justice for the victims.

Kabul’s western region, which is home to a significant Shia population, has also experienced two attacks in recent months. On November 9, a blast targeted a vehicle, resulting in at least eight deaths and 37 injuries. On October 26, a boxing gym in the same area was attacked, leading to seven deaths and 20 injuries.

Moreover, on October 13, a suicide blast targeted a Shia mosque in Pul-e-Khumri city, the center of northern Baghlan province, resulting in the death of 19 civilians.

The Taliban has not provided specific casualty figures for these attacks. Responsibility for the Kabul attacks was claimed by Daesh (ISIS). The UNAMA statement emphasizes the critical need for investigations, accountability for perpetrators, and enhanced protection for the vulnerable Shia community in Afghanistan.