Islamic State Rampage
This week the group showed the potential threat it represents for the countries neighboring Afghanistan
This week we saw a surge of ISIS Khorasan Province attacks in the Taliban governed country. The group has increased its activity in Afghanistan since the withdrawal of US troops back in August 2021, and the subsequent takeover by the Taliban.
The first attack happened on Monday, when ISIS launched ten rockets at an Uzbek base in Termez, at the other side of the border. This marks the first time that the group targets Uzbekistan. However, both the Uzbek government and the Taliban deny these claims. This would also be one of the first times that the Khorasan Province targets outside countries.
The following day, multiple bomb explosions at a school and a nearby tuition center killed six people and wounded twenty five others. This happened in the Dahst-e-Barchi neighborhood in Kabul. According to Taliban police sources, two improvised explosive devices were detonated at the Abdul Rahim Shaheed High School. The second blast took place as rescuers arrived to take the victims to the hospital. Outside the hospital, the Taliban beat back the families of the victims who were looking for information about their relatives.
As in other attacks, the target was the Shia Hazara community in Afghanistan. No one claimed responsibility. However, following previous patterns, one could determine the Islamic State is suspicious of the attack. The group has already targeted the minority group during and after the US occupation.
Thursday April 21st 2022, saw the most of the attacks, and had the highest number of casualties. Seventeen worshippers were killed in the Sha Dokan mosque bombing in Mazar-e-Shariff, Balkh Province, in northern Afghanistan. Fifty two others were injured, six in critical condition. Eyewitnesses claim the number of casualties is higher. ISIS claimed responsibility for this attack.
Aftermath of the Mazar-e-Shariff bombing. Source: @ERehayee via Twitter
Another of the attacks that took place on Thursday happened in Kunduz, capital of the same name province. According to Taliban officials, a roadside bomb targeted a vehicle transporting airport workshop employees. Four of them were killed and eighteen of them injured. Local police sources claim the workers were mechanics hired by the Taliban government. The roadside bomb also injured some students.
The same day, a roadside bomb wounded two children in a Shia neighborhood in western Kabul. Later, in Khogiany, Nangarhar, a blast killed four Taliban Security Personal members.
Unlike the Mazar-e-Shariff attack on the mosque, no one claimed responsibility for these attacks. However, there are quite high possibilities that the Islamic State is behind them.
ISIS also claimed responsibility for some attacks on Friday. On Taloqan, Takhar,the group wounded a Taliban officer. Meanwhile, in Kabul, an improvised explosive device targeted a Taliban vehicle. As a result, a person was killed and other five were wounded. The group is also suspicious of targeting a Sunni Sufi mosque in the Imam Sahib district, in Kunduz. At least 34 people were killed.
It is expected the Islamic State will increase the activity in Afghanistan, as well as abroad, as shown with the Uzbekistan attack on Monday. The Taliban is failing to control the rival. Therefore, it is highly probable more attacks will take place, and not only in Afghanistan.
Guillermo is a journalist, writer and independent international analyst. If you like what you read, please support him by donating:
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