Pakistan condemns northern Afghanistan blasts

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday strongly condemned twin explosions in northern Afghanistan that targeted the war-ravaged country’s minority Hazara ethnic group.

Two explosions, within minutes of each other, killed at least nine people and wounded 13 in Mazar-e-Sharif, the capital of Balkh province, on Thursday, a spokesman for a Taliban-appointed police chief said.

On Friday, the Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan claimed responsibility for the bombings. The Hazaras are mostly Shi’ite Muslims, who IS consider heretics. An IS statement said 30 Shi’ites were killed or wounded in the two attacks.

“The government and people of Pakistan extend their sympathies, support and solidarity to the people of Afghanistan and particularly with the bereaved families,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.

The statement said the targeting of Hazara and Shi’ite community in Afghanistan through these acts of militancy was also a matter of “serious concern”.

“We believe these heinous acts of terrorism against innocent Afghans are aimed at weakening the resolve of the Afghan nation in pursuit of peace, stability and progress,” it said.

“We urge the international community to extend all possible support and assistance to Afghanistan in combating terrorism and overcoming these challenges.”

Afghanistan’s minority Shi’ite Muslims are reviled by Sunni groups like IS, and have been targeted in a series of bombings in the past week. The IS affiliate, known as IS in Khorasan Province, or IS-K, has attacked mosques, public buses, and schools.

The worst such bombing occurred last week, also in Mazar-e-Sharif, when a powerful bomb killed 33 worshippers as they knelt in prayer, as well as students of an adjacent religious school.

The post Pakistan condemns northern Afghanistan blasts appeared first on Pakistan Today.

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