ISIS Claims Responsibility for Attack in Herat, Afghanistan

Islamic State kills dozens, takes responsibility for attack in social media post.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Islamic State claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on Saturday in the western Afghan city of Herat, it said in a post on Telegram on Sunday, Reuters reports.
  • Officials said at least six people were killed when a blast ripped through a minivan in the city.
  • But new reports say authorities are clarifying that a suicide bomber and a gunman killed around 30 people and left 64 wounded at a Shia mosque in the Afghan city.
  • “Around 50 Shiites were killed and 80 wounded in an attack by Islamic State fighters yesterday on a mosque in western Afghanistan’s Herat,” the group’s propaganda outlet Amaq said on Wednesday.
  • Afghan authorities said earlier that 30 worshippers including young children were killed and 64 wounded when suicide bombers throwing grenades stormed the Jawadya mosque in the western city near the Iranian border late on Tuesday.
WHAT LOCAL SPOKESPEOPLE ARE SAYING:
  • Provincial spokesman Jilani Farhad had said to reduce the chance for more attacks, a planned Shia protest to denounce the attack will be held just before the burial on Wednesday afternoon, rather than at a separate time and location.
BACKGROUND:
  • Since the Taliban took over in August, a series of blasts and attacks, some claimed by Islamic State, have taken place across Afghanistan, Reuters notes.
  • Pakistan said on Wednesday that eliminating terrorism requires cooperation among states as it condemned the terror attack.
  • Shias are a minority of around three million in overwhelmingly Sunni Afghanistan, but have regularly been targeted by ISIS jihadists over the last year.