At least 24 people were killed in the latest violence to rock Afghanistan’s capital Monday morning when a suicide bomber struck near a minubus in the southwestern neighborhood of Dehbori.
Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danesh confirmed the death toll and said about three dozen others had been injured. Pictures shared on social media showed a street strewn with burning vehicles and debris, with smoke rising above.
The blast occurred not far from the residence of Mohammad Mohaqiq, Afghanistan’s most prominent politician from the Hazara ethnic minority. Dehbori is home to many Hazaras.
According to ABC News, a witness said the attacker drove his car into a minibus. “The sound was very strong. The ground shook,” the witness, a store owner named Mohammed Nader, said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the attack targeted an employee of a “spy agency.”
Exactly one year ago, a massive bombing in Kabul killed 80, mostly Hazaras who were marching to demand better infrastructure in areas of the country where they represent the majority. A commemorative march had been planned for Monday but was canceled Sunday, ostensibly because President Ashraf Ghani had agreed to meet the protest leaders and consider their demands.
Hazaras have long been victimized as an ethnic and religious minority. Most Hazaras are Shiites, while Afghanistan is overwhelmingly Sunni.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Max Bearak