ISIS blasts kill 6 in Kabul during Nawruz celebrations

Salaam Times and AFP

KABUL -- At least six people were killed by blasts in Kabul Thursday (March 21) during Nawruz celebrations, authorities said.

"Twenty-three were wounded and six people were martyred [killed] in today's explosions in Kabul," Health Ministry spokesman Wahidullah Mayar told AFP, with the Interior Ministry confirming the toll.

The "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) via its media outlet Amaq claimed responsibility for the bombings, which police traced to three remote-controlled mines -- one placed in the washroom of a mosque, one behind a hospital and one in an electricity metre.

The blasts were near Kabul University and the Karte Sakhi shrine, where many Afghans gather every year to mark Nawruz, which is the traditional annual New Year holiday but considered un-Islamic by Muslim fundamentalists.

"As we celebrate this auspicious day to bind us together, our fellow citizens witnessed another devastating day in #Kabul," President Ashraf Ghani tweeted. "We lost peaceful citizens to a coward enemy that knows no bounds."

Security forces defused a fourth mine near Kabul University, said Kabul police spokesman Basir Mujahid, adding that the mines were far from the main site of the celebrations.

Meanwhile, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) in a statement said it had arrested six ISIS militants who were planning to carry out suicide attacks in Kabul on Nawruz, Khaama Press reported Thursday.

Exactly one year ago, ISIS took responsibility for a blast near a crowd celebrating at the shrine that killed 33 people.

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