Kabul Blast Targeted Shiites In Afghanistan, Also Creates Safety Concerns For Journalists

A bombed-out religious school in the Kabul compound yesterday

A terrorist bombing on a Shiite cultural center in Kabul on Thursday prompted a renewed pledge from the United States to continue backing Afghanistan's government until the nation is safe and at peace, US Ambassador John Bass said in a statement.

"A ceremony was being held to mark the 38th anniversary of Soviet invasion in Afghanistan when the explosion went off".

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the suicide bomb attack on a Shia cultural center in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul.

The Interior Ministry said it was a suicide attack during a morning panel at the centre, with one journalist working for the agency confirmed dead and another injured.

The Middle Eastern jihadist group has gained ground in Afghanistan since it first appeared in the region in 2015 and has scaled up its attacks in Kabul, including on security installations and the country's Shiite minority.

Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said another three people were wounded in Monday's attack, adding the exact target was unclear.

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani called the attack a "crime against humanity". A neighboring news agency, Afghan Voice, was also hit, prompting fears about the safety of media organizations and journalists in the country ravaged by militants.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the Taliban was quick to deny involvement in the assault near the Afghan Voice Agency, a media outlet which earlier reports had suggested could have been the target.

Dawlat Abad District Gov. Mohammad Karim said Thursday the powerful mine killed six shepherd children Wednesday ages 10, 9 and 8.

ISIS claimed the terrorist act in an online statement through the group's Amaq news agency.

Afghanistan has the highest number of mine victims in the world, which along with other roadside bombs kill or wound an estimated 140 people every month.

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