Islamic State claims responsibility for attack in Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif

The explosions killed at least nine and injured 15 members of the local Shi'a community, who are a religious minority in Afghanistan. A bomb also went off in a mosque in Kabul.

 Men inspect the site of a blast inside a mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan June 12, 2020. (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMMAD ISMAIL)
Men inspect the site of a blast inside a mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan June 12, 2020.
(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMMAD ISMAIL)

Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif, the militant group said on its Telegram channel on Wednesday.

Three blasts tore through passenger vehicles in Mazar-i-Sharif on Wednesday, killing at least nine and injuring 15, a provincial commander spokesman said, as authorities confirmed another blast in Kabul, the Afghan capital.

The ISIS attack in Mazar-i-Sharif, which is in the northern Balkh province, targeted members of Shi'ia community, who are a religious minority in Afghanistan.

The Kabul blast tore through a mosque, killing at least five people, authorities and hospitals said.

A spokesman for the capital's commander said at least two people were injured. Emergency Hospital said in a tweet that it had received five bodies from the blast and more than a dozen wounded patients.

Taliban members are seen at the Taliban flag-raising ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 31, 2022.  (credit:  REUTERS/ALI KHARA)Taliban members are seen at the Taliban flag-raising ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 31, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/ALI KHARA)

A Taliban official who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak with media said explosives had been placed inside the mosque's pulpit and at least 11 people were dead.

Growing violence in recent months has caused security challenges for the Taliban who took over the country in August as foreign forces withdrew. The Islamic State has claimed several attacks, often targeting the Shi'ia minority.