ISIL claims attack targeting journalists in Afghanistan

Armed group says attack in Mazar-i-Sharif was carried out with a parcel bomb.

Taliban fighters stand guard outside the hospital after a bomb blast in Mazar-e Sharif, the capital city of Balkh province, in northern Afghanistan
Taliban fighters stand guard outside the hospital after a bomb blast in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital city of Balkh province [Abdul Saboor Sirat/AP Photo]

The ISIL (ISIS) armed group has claimed responsibility for a bomb attack that killed a security guard and wounded a group of journalists and children in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif this week.

The blast targeting media workers was caused by a “parcel bomb that IS fighters managed to place and detonate”, the group said in a statement via its Amaq News Agency on Sunday.

“The blast targeted a rally held inside a Shiite [Shia] centre to reward several journalists working in agencies involved in the war and instigation against IS,” the statement said.

A security guard was killed, while five journalists and three children were wounded in the bomb attack, police said.

Saturday’s attack in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of Balkh province, came two days after a suicide bomber killed the Taliban governor of the same province in an attack also claimed by ISIL.

The killing of Governor Mohammad Dawood Muzammil, known for fighting ISIL, marked one of the highest-level attacks since the Taliban took over the country in 2021.

Violence across Afghanistan has dramatically dropped since the Taliban seized control, but the security situation has again deteriorated with ISIL claiming several deadly attacks.

ISIL attacks in Afghanistan have often targeted the minority Shia and Sufi communities, as well as foreigners and foreign interests.

Source: News Agencies