Afghan bomb targets Kabul pilgrims during Nowruz celebrations

Afghan bomb targets Kabul pilgrims during Nowruz celebrations
At least six were killed in blasts in Afghanistan, on Persian New Year.
2 min read
21 March, 2019
Some Afghanis celebrate Persian new year [Getty]

A blast during a Persian New Year celebrations in a Shia area of the Afghan capital, authorities said, with at least six people were killed in the bombings.

"Twenty-three were wounded and six people were martyred (killed) in today's explosions in Kabul," health ministry spokesman Wahidullah Mayar told AFP.

The Taliban denied responsibility for the attack, which police said had been caused by three remote-controlled mines. 
They were placed in the washroom of a mosque, one behind a hospital, and one in an electricity meter.

The blasts were near Kabul University and the Karte Sakhi shrine, where many Afghans gather every year to mark Nowruz.

Traditional Persian New Year holiday are considered un-Islamic by fundamentalists in the country.

"As we celebrate this auspicious day to bind us together our fellow citizens witnessed another devastating day in #Kabul," President Ashraf Ghani wrote on Twitter.

"We lost peaceful citizens to a coward enemy that knows no bounds."

Kabul police spokesman Basir Mujahid said a fourth mine was defused near Kabul University but mines were far from the main site of the celebrations

Authorities are combing the area for more bombs.

One year ago, an Islamic State group bombing near a crowd celebrating at a shrine killed 33 people.

Afghan Shia are regularly targeted by IS in an attempt to stir up sectarian violence in Sunni-majority Afghanistan.

IS have also attacked the shrine once before, in October 2016, when its gunmen killed 18 people gathered there to mark Ashura, an important date for many Muslims.