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With US Withdrawal Looming, 2 More Attacks in Kabul

Minivan bombings kill 7 in area largely populated by minority Hazara ethnic group
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 12, 2021 8:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – Separate bombs hit two minivans in a mostly Shiite neighborhood in the Afghan capital Saturday, killing at least seven people and wounding six others, the Interior Ministry said. The attacks targeted minivans on the same road about 1.25 miles apart in a neighborhood in western Kabul, a ministry spokesman said. It wasn't immediately clear what type of bombs were used, and no one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, per the AP. The Islamic State group has carried out similar bombings in the area, including four attacks on four minivans earlier this month that killed at least 18 people. The first explosion on Saturday killed six people and wounded two, and the second explosion in front of Muhammad Ali Jinnah Hospital, where a majority of COVID-19 patients are admitted, killed one and wounded four.

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The area where the explosions happened is largely populated by the minority Hazara ethnic group, who are mostly Shiite Muslims. Shiites are a minority in mostly Sunni Afghanistan, and the local Islamic State affiliate has declared war against them. Hundreds of Afghans are killed or injured every month in violence connected to the country's constant war. But Hazaras, who make up around 9% of the population of 36 million people, stand alone in being intentionally targeted because of their ethnicity and their religion. Violence and chaos continue to escalate in Afghanistan as the US and NATO continue their withdrawal of the remaining 2,500 to 3,500 American soldiers and 7,000 allied forces. The last of the troops will be gone by Sept. 11 at the latest.

(Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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