3 killed in explosion near Hazara protests in Kabul
Kabul : At least three people were killed and eight others wounded in an explosion here on Monday near a protest site where hundreds of people, mostly members of the persecuted Shia minority Hazara, were demanding more security in the Hazara-dominated central and eastern districts of Afghanistan.
The blast occurred around 2 p.m. barely a few hundred metres from where demonstrators had gathered near Gulbahar commercial centre, Kabul police spokesperson Basir Mujahid told Efe news.
Hospitals in the area had so far received three bodies, Ministry of Public Health spokesperson Wahidullah Majroh said.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Hundreds of people had gathered since Sunday night near the site of the attack to urge the government to bomb Taliban positions in Malistan and Jaghori districts in eastern Ghazni province, and Khasurozgan in central Uruzgan province -- mainly inhabited by Hazaras.
"Over the last fortnight, these administrative divisions have been witness to escalated conflict and a large number of civilians have been forced to abandon their houses, said one of the protest organizers, Barakatullha Rawnaq.
Shias, especially those from the Hazara community, are often the target of insurgent attacks, many of them perpetrated by the Islamic State terrorist group.
The last such attack occurred in September, when a double attack in a Shia-majority district of Kabul left some 20 people dead and 70 wounded.