The authenticity of the statement could not be independently verified….reports Asian Lite News
The Islamic State (IS) terror group has claimed responsibility for a blast at a mosque in Kabul that killed at least 12 people, including the imam.
In a statement released late Saturday via the Nashir News Agency, which publishes the terror group’s official propaganda, accused the imam, identified as Mohammad Numan, of encouraging the fight against jihadis, reports dpa news agency.
“Soldiers of the caliphate” had planted an explosive device in the mosque, said the statement.
The authenticity of the statement could not be independently verified.
At least 15 others were wounded in the attack in Kabul province’s Shakar Dara district during the Eid-ul Fitr festival to mark the end of Ramadan on Friday, according to Afghan security officials.
The attack took place as the Afghan government and the Taliban were holding a ceasefire for the Islamic Eid holidays.
The ceasefire ended at midnight on Saturday. The IS has recently lost territory, leaders and other fighters in Afghanistan.
In addition to the Afghan government, the Taliban are also fighting the extremists. According to a UN report, the terrorist group is still able to carry out attacks in various parts of the country.
US embassy warns of increase in violence
The US embassy in Kabul warned American citizens to exercise caution in places where people are known to congregate, saying that “historically, violence has increased in Afghanistan following the Eid holiday”.
“The US government remains concerned that insurgents are intent on targeting foreigners via kidnapping schemes and attacks at locations such as hotels, residential compounds, security checkpoints, government facilities and airports,” it said in a security alert.
Last month, the US State Department ordered some of its employees whose functions can be performed elsewhere to depart from the American embassy in Kabul, reports dpa news agency.
Ross Wilson, the acting US Ambassador to Afghanistan, said that the decision was made “in light of increasing violence and threat reports in Kabul”.
The Department had also advised US citizens not to travel to Afghanistan due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, armed conflict and the coronavirus, adding that American nationals already in the country should consider departing.
Afghanistan is in a state of uncertainty after US President Joe Biden announced that American troops will pull out from the country by September 11.
NATO also said it will abide by the decision.
The international forces already began the official process of withdrawal on May 1.
The Taliban have intensified attacks on provincial capitals, districts, bases and checkpoints since international troops began to withdraw.
Currently, both the Taliban and the Afghan government have announced that they would observe a three-day ceasefire for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr that started on Thursday, but the violence continues.