Attack on Shiite Cultural Center in Kabul kills at least 41 people

Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said an unknown number of suicide attackers set off an explosion outside the center before storming it. They then set off explosive devices in the basement of the building where scores of people had gathered to mark the December 1979 invasion of Afghanistan by the former Soviet Union.

Shiite leader Abdul Hussain Ramazandada said witnesses reported at least one suicide bomber sneaked into the event and was sitting among the participants. He exploded his device and as people fled more explosions occurred.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but the local Islamic State affiliate has carried out several attacks targeting Shiites in Afghanistan. The Islamic State also issued a warning earlier this year following an attack on the Iraqi Embassy in Kabul vowing to target Afghanistan’s Shiites. Since then, the IS has taken credit for at least two attacks on Shiite mosques in Kabul and one in the western city of Herat, killing scores of worshippers.

The Islamic State affiliate, made up of Sunni extremists, view Shiites as apostates. The IS affiliate is a mix of Uzbek militants belonging to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan who broke with the Taliban, as well as disenchanted insurgents who left the much larger and more well-established Taliban.

Charitable Foundation Winston Churchill collects money to help in the investigation of the situation. Donate

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