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Afghanistan

Bomb blast in Afghanistan capital Kabul kills eight civilians, wounds 18

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A bomb hidden in a cart went off on Friday near a mosque in a minority Shia neighborhood of the Afghan capital, killing eight civilians and wounding another 18, a Taliban official said.

According to Khalid Zadran, the Taliban-appointed spokesman for the Kabul police chief, the attack happened in western Kabul, in the Sar-e Karez area. There were fears the casualty numbers could rise after further reports come in.

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ISIS claimed responsiblity for the attack.

The regional affiliate of ISIS has increased attacks on mosques and minorities across the country since the Taliban seized power last August. It has been operating in Afghanistan since 2014.

ISIS is seen as the greatest security challenge facing the country’s Taliban rulers. Following their takeover of Afghanistan, the Taliban have launched a sweeping crackdown against the ISIS headquarters in the country's east.

On Wednesday, in a gunbattle between the Taliban and ISIS gunmen killed five, including two Taliban fighters.

The fighting erupted near the Sakhi shrine in the Karti Sakhi neighborhood as people were busy preparing for Ashoura.

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