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Afghan official: bombs hit 2 minivans in Kabul, 7 dead

UPDATED: Sat., June 12, 2021

Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan — Separate bombs hit two minivans in a mostly Shiite neighborhood in the Afghan capital Saturday, killing at least seven people and wounding six others, the Interior Ministry said.

The attacks targeted minivans on the same road about 1.25 miles apart in a neighborhood in western Kabul, Interior Ministry deputy spokesman Ahmad Zia Zia, said.

It wasn’t immediately clear what type of bombs were used and no one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks.

In some west Kabul neighborhoods populated mostly by the minority Hazara ethnic group, just going out for errands can be dangerous. The Islamic State group has carried out similar bombings in the area, including four attacks on four minivans earlier this month that killed at least 18 people.

The first explosion of Saturday’s attack killed six people and wounded two and the second explosion in front of Muhammad Ali Jinnah hospital, where a majority of COVID-19 patients are admitted, killed one and wounded four.

The area where the explosions happened is largely populated by Hazaras, who are mostly Shiite Muslims. Shiites are a minority in mostly Sunni Afghanistan, and the local Islamic State affiliate has declared war against them.

Hundreds of Afghans are killed or injured every month in violence connected to the country’s constant war. But Hazaras, who make up around 9% of the population of 36 million people, stand alone in being intentionally targeted because of their ethnicity and their religion.

An attack on a Kabul school on May 8 killed nearly 100 people, all of them members of the Hazara ethnic minority and most of them young girls just leaving class.

Violence and chaos continue to escalate in Afghanistan as the U.S. and NATO continue their withdrawal of the remaining 2,500-3,500 American soldiers and 7,000 allied forces. The last of the troops will be gone by Sept. 11 at the latest.

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