Islamic State claims deadly Afghanistan mosque attack – Yahoo News Australia

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The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a deadly shooting targeting members of the country’s minority Shi’ite community inside a mosque in western Afghanistan that killed six people.

The militant group said in a statement on its Telegram website late on Tuesday that one of its members attacked a “Shi’ite temple” in Herat province with machine-gun fire.

The attack, which took place on Monday night in the district of Guzara, also left one person wounded.

The attacker fled the scene. The Taliban Interior Ministry has said an investigation is under way.

Local media reported the mosque’s imam was among those killed.

Afghanistan’s former president Hamid Karzai condemned the attack, saying on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, he considers “this terrorist act against all religious and human standards”.

The UN mission in Afghanistan also condemned the attack, saying a child was among the victims. It called for urgent accountability for perpetrators and protection measures for Shi’ite communities.

The IS affiliate in Afghanistan is a major Taliban rival and frequently targets schools, hospitals, mosques and Shi’ite areas throughout the country.

The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021, during the last weeks of the chaotic departure of US and NATO troops from the country after 20 years of war.

Despite initial promises of a more moderate stance, the Taliban gradually reimposed a harsh interpretation of Islamic law, or Shariah, as they did during their previous rule of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.

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