Islamic State claims responsibility for blast at Afghan press event
The Islamic State extremist group claimed responsibility for Saturday’s bombing at a press award event in Afghanistan’s northern province of Balkh.
The militia’s mouthpiece, the Amaq news agency, said on Sunday that the bombing was caused by a booby-trapped bag inside a Shia cultural centre.
At least three people were killed and 30 others, including 16 journalists, were wounded in the bombing that occurred in the Tabayan Shia Centre in the city of Mazar-e-Sharif.
The United Nations in Afghanistan condemned the attack and called for the protection of Afghan reporters who they said showed immense courage.
Tabayan is a pro-Iranian cultural centre.
In 2017, Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack that killed at least 50 people in a different branch of the centre in Kabul.
Following the Taliban’s return to power in August 2021, Islamic State has intensified its attacks in Afghanistan, mainly targeting religious minorities, members of the Taliban, as well as foreign diplomatic centres.
The Taliban’s security forces periodically crack down on Islamic State hideouts in different parts of the country.
On Thursday, Islamic State claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed Dawood Muzammil, the governor of the Balkh province, and two others at his office.
Muzammil is one of the most senior Taliban officials to have been killed since the Taliban retook power.