Death toll of IS-claimed Kabul blast rises to five

Published January 8, 2024
Security personnel stand gaurd during the cash money distribution as an aid to Afghan people by the World Food Programme (WFP) organisation in Pul-i-Alam, the provincial capital of Logar Province on January 7, 2024. — AFP
Security personnel stand gaurd during the cash money distribution as an aid to Afghan people by the World Food Programme (WFP) organisation in Pul-i-Alam, the provincial capital of Logar Province on January 7, 2024. — AFP

KABUL: The death toll from an attack on a bus in western Kabul claimed by the militant Islamic State (IS) group rose from two to five on Sunday, police said.

Kabul police spokesman Khalid Zadran gave an initial toll of two dead and 14 wounded in an explosion on a bus in the capital’s Dasht-i-Barchi neighbourhood — an enclave of the historically oppressed Shia Hazara community — on Saturday evening.

In a statement on Sunday, he revised the toll to five dead and 15 wounded, adding that the survivors had been hospitalised and their conditions were stable.

He said the blast was caused by explosives planted on the bus and that “police are still investigating the incident to find the culprits and bring them to justice”.

The UN mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, said the total casualties were at least 25 in a post on social media on Sunday, calling “for an end to targeted attacks on civilians, greater protection for Afghanistan’s Hazara community and accountability for perpetrators”.

Hours after the blast, the regional chapter of the IS group claimed on Telegram that it was behind the explosion, the latest to hit the area in recent months.

In November, at least seven people were killed in an explosion on a bus in Dasht-i-Barchi that was also claimed by IS.

Mohammad Ashraf, a resident of Kabul, had told TOLOnews that several explosions have taken place in the area in the past 10 to 20 days. This explosion is not the first and it will not be the last.“

However, Zabihullah Muj­ahid, the Islamic Emirate’s spokesman, had claimed that investigations into the incident had started.

The number of bomb blasts and suicide attacks in Afghanistan has reduced dramatically since the Taliban ended their insurgency after seizing power in August 2021, ousting the US-backed government.

However, a number of armed groups, including IS, remain a threat.

Published in Dawn, January 8th, 2024

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