The attacks targeting the Afghan Shia community go back to December 2011 when a suicide bomber attacked the Abul Fazl Mosque in Murad Khani area in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, leaving over 50 people dead, including children. The attack targeted hundreds of Afghan Shias during the Ashura procession.
A Pakistan-based terror group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, had claimed responsibility for the attack.
But such attacks have increased dramatically in the past three years after Daesh emerged as a new threat for a country which was already coping with a rising Taliban insurgency.
Over the past three years, Daesh has launched at least 10 attacks in Kabul in which 1,400 Afghans were either killed or wounded, TOLOnews findings show. Majority of the attacks were carried out during religious gatherings.
Initially, no group was claiming responsibility for these attacks, but now Daesh clearly takes credit for the attacks.
One of the main criticisms which have been leveled against the Afghan government during this period is that none of these attacks were investigated and no measures were taken to prevent its continuation.
Again in July 2016, at least 80 people were killed and another 231 wounded when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-packed clothing among a large crowd of demonstrators in Deh Mazang area in the west of Kabul. Daesh took responsibility for the attack. Majority of those killed were students and youths.
“The hands of enemies of Islam are behind all these. Those who wanted to fuel dispute between the Shia and the Sunni, those who want fuel dispute between Mullah and school and those who want to involve the Mujahid and non-Mujahid to war,” said Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of Hizb-e-Islami, who addressed a campaign rally in Kunar on Sunday.
“This can create social, ethnic and religious divisions among the people. The government is responsible to investigate such incidents and share the outcomes with the people of Afghanistan,” said Fawzia Kofi, a former MP.
“It raises skepticisms that perhaps the so-called fifth pillar element is active or there is something fishy somewhere else. But these are not investigated and no one is punished in relation to it and none of the cases were assessed,” said Daud Naji, a political analyst.
Over 60 Attacks Hit Afghanistan In Three Years
Between early 2015 and the end of 2017, the group carried out over 60 attacks in Afghanistan – many of which were deadly suicide bombings.
On Apr 18, 2015, Daesh launched its first terrorist attack in Afghanistan when a suicide bomber killed 33 people outside a bank in Jalalabad in Nangarhar. The attack in Jalalabad was a major blow to the Afghan government which had continued to reject claims of the group’s presence in Afghanistan.
Gradually, Daesh launched an onslaught of deadly attacks on the Afghan people especially the Shiite minority.
Some of the attacks are as follows.
• Attack on Tabyan Cultural Center in Kabul. 42 killed, 84 wounded
• Attack on Jawadia Mosque in Herat. 29 killed, 46 wounded
• Attack on Shamshad TV in Kabul. Two killed, 21 wounded
• Attack on Imam Zaman Mosque in Kabul. 50 killed, 46 wounded
• Attack on a mosque in Ghor province. 33 killed, 46 wounded
• Attack on al-Zahra Mosque in Kabul. Seven killed, 21 wounded
Daesh has since been acknowledged as a threat to Afghanistan’s stability, but still, there isn’t any understanding on the part of the Afghan political elite regarding the issue of the militant group and its security implications – which just adds to the woes of the fragile security landscape of Afghanistan.