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Bomb blasts at Shia mosque in Afghanistan during noon prayers kills at least 50

In another deadly attack, a Shia Mosque in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif has been bombed, killing at least 50 people (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@ImamRezaEN)

In yet another deadly attack, a Shia Mosque in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif  has been bombed, killing at  least 50 people.

According to local media, bomb was placed in Shia Seh Dokan Mosque in the northern Afghanistan's Mazar-e-Sharif. It exploded during the noon prayers when it was crowded with worshippers. This is the second  attack targeting Shias in the last 48 hours following three suicide bombings  of a girls’ school in Kabul on Tuesday.

According to witnesses, the three storied Shia mosque was targeted by two bomb blasts as the prayers were being offered. Pictures and video clips on social media showed  horrific swcenes of the bloodbath.

Dr Ghawsuddin Anwari, head of the main hospital in Mazar-e-Sharif told AP that the dead and wounded were brought in ambulances and private cars.

"A blast happened in the district inside a Shia mosque, more than 20 were killed and injured," Mohammad Asif Wazeri, the spokesman for the Taliban commander in Mazar-e-Sharif told news agency Reuters.

According to the local media, ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the  attack.

Shia-Hazara community, an ethnic and religious minority frequently targeted by the Islamic State of Khorasan (ISIS-K) ), a Sunni militant group.

On Tuesday, three suicide bombings outside a secondary school in Dasht-e-Barchi –  a Hazara Shia neighbourhood in Kabul left more than 30 dead and 100s injured.

The Hazara-Shia community has been the target of some of the deadliest attacks, especially since 2016 across Afghanistan.

After the Taliban first took over in August 2021, the neighbourhood experienced a short-lived respite from attacks but has since become the scene of a new cycle of assassinations and bombings, leaving its ethnic Hazara and Shia Muslim residents particularly vulnerable to an unrelenting campaign of targeted killings.

There have been at least two deadly attacks on Shia-Hazara civilians in Kunduz and Kandahar provinces in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover. In the first attack in Kunduz, more than 400 people had gathered for the Friday prayer on 8 October 2021 when a ISIS-K suicide bomber attacked the Sayed Abad mosque. A week later, ISIS-K suicide bomber attacked Grand Fatima mosque, the largest Shia mosque in Kandahar city, killing more than 100 people.

Video: Shia Muslim describes fleeing Taliban attacks in Afghanistan 

A month later, in a daring attack on the high security military hospital in Kabul,  suicide bombers of the ISIS-K killed the Taliban military chief for Kabul.

While the Taliban rulers are touting their ability to provide security, as an achievement, the ISIS-K with its attacks is seeking to discredit that claim and using the Taliban's own tactics to attack them.

Also Read: Suicide bombers target children, kill 25 in Shia-Hazara school in Kabul