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.
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.