Kabul residents call for security as ISIS hits Shia targets ahead of Ashura

By Salaam Times

Vendors sell fruit and vegetables in a market in Kabul on August 7. Kabul residents are on edge after a series of ISIS attacks on the city's Shia residents. [Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP]

Vendors sell fruit and vegetables in a market in Kabul on August 7. Kabul residents are on edge after a series of ISIS attacks on the city's Shia residents. [Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP]

KABUL -- A series of blasts has Kabul's Shia residents on edge as they commemorate Ashura, the 10th day of the holy month of Muharram, on Monday (August 8).

A bomb attached to a handcart exploded in a predominantly Shia area of Kabul on Friday, officials said, killing eight civilians and injuring 18 others.

The "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the blast. The group said on one of its Telegram channels that ISIS fighters "detonated the bomb".

"Security teams are trying to find the perpetrators," Kabul police spokesman Khalid Zadran told reporters.

Shia devotees walk near a makeshift tent during Ashura in Kart-e seh in Kabul on August 8. [Wakil Kohsar/AFP]

Shia devotees walk near a makeshift tent during Ashura in Kart-e seh in Kabul on August 8. [Wakil Kohsar/AFP]

The explosives were attached to a handcart loaded with vegetables in an area where residents shopped for daily food items, he said.

The explosion occurred in a west Kabul neighbourhood that is mainly inhabited by members of the ethnic Hazara community, who are mostly Shia.

The minority group makes up 10% to 20% of Afghanistan's population of 38 million.

Violence continued on Saturday, when a bomb killed two people and injured 22 in the same neighbourhood, Zadran said.

"The explosives were kept in a pot on the side of a road" in the west Kabul neighbourhood, he said, adding that one of the wounded individuals was in critical condition.

ISIS said its "soldiers detonated an explosive device" targeting Shia, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors terrorist activities.

The blasts came just days ahead of Ashura, when worshippers gather at mosques and take part in processions marking the death of the Shia Imam Hussein Ibn Ali, grandson of the Prophet Mohammed.

Many residents of Kabul's police district 6 voiced concerns about the rise in explosive attacks in the city's western areas, TOLOnews reported Sunday.

Most of the victims of Saturday's explosion were vendors selling their wares, according to local residents.

"Explosions happen every day, and the level of insecurity has increased," Mohammad Ali, a resident of the Barchi area of Kabul, told TOLOnews.

"All of [the victims] were men and youth, and they were at the mourning ceremony, and it was very crowded," said Mohammad Jafar, a resident of the Pol-e-Sukhta area of Kabul.

"There were pieces of flesh, limbs, legs and organs," said Fawad, another resident of Pol-e-Sukhta.

The municipality did not take the bodies to bury them, he said, adding that he and four or five other individuals buried the dead.

Police officials said they have arrested two suspects in connection with Saturday's attack in Pol-e-Sukhta.

"So far, we have arrested two Daesh [ISIS] affiliates in connection with the blast, and we are trying to arrest the rest of them," said Mawlawi Waqad, director of the Intelligence Department of the capital's police district 6.

A third blast took place in the Chandawal area of Kabul city on Sunday, according to eyewitnesses.

The blast was caused by a magnetic mine that targeted public transportation, the witness said, adding that the injured were taken to hospital.

So far officials have not commented on the attack, there is no information on casualties and no group has claimed responsibility.

The international community condemned four deadly blasts in Kabul and Mazar-e Sharif in May. ISIS claimed the three bombings in Mazar-e Sharif.

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12. The Taliban's lack of interest in reaching peace through a political settlement during the intra-Afghan Doha peace negotiations; 13. The existence of the chaffy media relying on foreign and irresponsible intelligence. 14. Pakistan’s destructive role. Dr. Noor Ahmad Khalidi


Twelve reasons for the collapse of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan: Written by Noor Ahmad Khalidi The collapse of the government of the Islamic Republic was the result of the systematic decline of the system as a result of the following factors: 1. United States’ enduring monetary and political support of a corrupt rounder elite of mafia groups and Jihadi leaders and emphasizing the inclusion of this elite in the government and the creation of local islands of power by these groups and the spreading of corruption in the country; 2. Systematic de-legitimization of the government by the United States and corrupt Jihadi leaders; 3. The weakening of the government and the army as a result of activities against the constitution and other laws and the rejecting of the results of the democratic elections by a corrupt mafia group within the government led and centered by Abdullah Abdullah; 4. The creation of segregation and disunity among the country's ethnic groups in the past forty years by the ethnocentric policies of the evil and corrupt group of the Shora-e- Nizar (Northern Alliance), which left deep wounds among the Intellectuals of the country; 5. The signing of the agreement between the United States and the Taliban without the participation of the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Doha; 6. The commitment of the Americans to establish a new Islamic state under the leadership of the Taliban as a result of this agreement; 7. De-legitimization of the conti


For decades, Afghanistan has become the intelligence center of neighboring countries. Iran's Khamenei used to say to his people, "If you want to keep Iran healthy and safe from wars, take the war away from Iran." In Afghanistan today, the same formula related to Khamenei's speech is going on. Pakistan also furthers the same policy. There are wars for the benefit of Russians, Hindus, Iranians, and Pakistanis carried out by their Afghan mercenaries. To prevent such proxy wars, Afghans must unite among themselves. I don't think these are attacks by ISIS or any other group. These are wars to protect the interests of neighbors. It is necessary for the new officials to get over their useless actions, gather Afghans together, and form a strong government. If not, I don't think Afghanistan and Afghans would be able to breathe a sigh of relief.


I hope the UN and international organizations would investigate the crimes against humanity that are committed by the resistance group of the Northern Alliance and ISIS in Afghanistan. The Panjsheries are very rude and unscrupulous people. On the one hand, they are shouting the slogans of war and resistance against the Taliban, and on the other hand, they are groaning that the Taliban kill them. They can reach the peak of humiliation in order to achieve their personal goals. The United States and the international community should declare this group as a terrorist group, the same as ISIS, there are rumors of a solidarity between ISIS fighters and the resistance group of Northern Alliance which is led by Ahmad Massoud, the son of former warlord Ahmad Shah Massoud.


As long as Pakistan is not eliminated from the world map, and as long as an Akhundi government is in power in Iran, peace and stability in Afghanistan is merely a dream. These two shamelessly call themselves peace-loving countries, but in reality, they are working against Afghans day and night. The Afghans are caught between fire and water. If they stay in Afghanistan on the one hand, they face the oppression of the Taliban every day or would be murdered by ISIS. If they go abroad, they are being tortured and even killed by the cruel and renegade neighbors of Afghanistan. A few days ago, I watched videos on social media in which Iranian border forces were burying Afghan refugees under stones. They were Insulting and threatening Afghan refugees and were enjoying their cries and screaming. No other country has done such cruelty as Iran is doing to Afghan immigrants. Death to the irreligious, cruel, and hypocritical regime of Iran.


For me, there is no difference between the Taliban and ISIS. The Taliban have been doing the same things for the past 20 years and now they know that explosions and committing suicides are very simple and easy. In contrast delivery of services, maintaining people's security, dealing with social problems, etc. are such tough things. I can confidently say that the Taliban themselves know that they are not capable of maintaining people’s security and understand their failure. Their arrogance, selfishness on one hand, and Pakistan’s orders on the other hand prevent them from taking some basic steps to maintain stability in the country. The Pakistanis commanders of the Taliban know that once the war in Afghanistan is over and this country becomes stable, Pakistan would lose its importance to the United States and its allies and this country would no longer be able to get ransom from other countries in the name of war and terrorism in Afghanistan. This is why Pakistan forces the Taliban to do those things which cause more instability in Afghanistan. Taliban are the slaves of Pakistan who sacrifice Afghanistan for maintaining Pakistan's interests.


Foreign intelligence has hands behind all murders and killings in Afghanistan, and they want to involve Afghans in wars with each other. They can get their goals by using this opportunity. Here, every person and every tribe is killed, oppressed, their rights are taken away... it is against them. But the amount of propagation is made in the ownership of Hazaras. It is not done in the right of other people. If dozens of Pashtuns are killed daily, why are the reports not published? Why not the media? Why is the right of Pashtun not asked for? Everything is going on here because the Pashtuns and other tribes have fought among themselves. In the past 20 years, different human rights of Pashtuns have been taken away, but the whole world turned a blind eye to them. Even now, their rights are taken away, but the international community keeps quiet about it. I request that the Salaam Times agency show this issue to the world through its sources and prove that it is not only Hazara, Tajik, Uzbek... right in Afghanistan. But it has been years that the rights of Pashtuns are being taken away, killed, bombed, and then detonated... but no one cares about them.


Rumors are spreading that ISIS fighters and the Northern Alliance resistance group led by Ahmed Masood, the son of former warlord Ahmad Shah Masood, have joined hands and are fighting against the Taliban. The Northern Alliance, which has been familiar with terrorist attacks for a long time, and used to carry out destructive activities during the republic, wants to fuel the civil war in Afghanistan again with the help of ISIS. I hope that the United Nations and international institutions will investigate the crimes against humanity committed by the Northern Alliance resistance group and ISIS in Afghanistan. Panjsheries are very rude and unscrupulous people. On the one hand, they are shouting war slogans against the Taliban; on the other, they are complaining that the Taliban are killing them. They can reach any level of the vile to achieve their personal goals. America and the international community should declare this group a terrorist group like ISIS.


I am not sure if these two attacks are the only ones that occurred during the event of Ashura. During this event, the Shia residential areas of Kabul are witnessing an explosion each time every day. However, to prevent ISIS attacks, the Taliban disabled telecommunication networks across Kabul province and in some areas of its neighboring provinces. This action done by the Taliban indicated to what extent this group is failed to maintain security and their claim of maintaining security in the country is just a lie. Our compatriots are brutally attacked every day. ISIS kills them, and the Taliban themselves also kill their people, the people are also annoyed by poverty and hunger. Unemployment and other social problems have reached their apex. Meanwhile, the Taliban are not ready to act as a responsible government and perform its duties. The same killings and attacks that the Taliban were carrying out during the republic are now carried out by ISIS and a group that calls itself the resistance. Afghans are subjected to fight and be killed as long as they exist.