7 killed, 9 wounded in bomb blast in Afghanistan’s Herat

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In Afghanistan’s western city of Herat, a bomb attached to the fuel tank of a minivan exploded on Saturday, leaving seven dead and nine others severely wounded. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack yet, but the Islamic State Khorasan has claimed responsibility for similar attacks in the past, including the deadly attack on the Kabul Airport that left 182 dead.

The Islamic State Khorasan, an affiliate group of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, has taken credit for several attacks on Afghan civilians and Taliban officials. The militant group has proved itself to a daunting threat for Taliban regime which many argue is teetering at the edge of collapse.

The security situation in Afghanistan has greatly improved after the twenty-years long war between the Unites States and the Afghan Taliban, which culminated somewhat anticlimactically with the latter’s return to power in August last year. The abrupt capture of Kabul and the flight of former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani left the Taliban in an awkward situation – since there was no proper handover of power, the Taliban’s conquest of Kabul was tantamount to a coup d’état. The foreign funding was promptly halted and Afghanistan’s foreign reserves were frozen. The economy collapsed and millions of poor Afghan civilians were brushed into a destitution so severe that they resorted to selling their children to meet ends.

Amid the chaos, the Islamic State of Khorasan rose up to be a daunting challenge for the new Afghan regime. Since the Taliban takeover in August last year, the IS-K has launched several attacks on civilians and Taliban officials. The group has been accused of primarily targeting the Shia community in Afghanistan, and Saturday’s attack in Herat was conducted in an area populated by the Shia community.

SourceTBP

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