On March 12, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for a blast at a cultural centre during an event for journalists in Afghanistan’s Balkh province. According to authorities and journalists, one person was killed, and eight others were injured.
However, the Tebayan Cultural Centre claimed, “Three persons were killed, and 30 others, including journalists, were injured in the incident.” The blast is the second terror attack in the Balkh province in three days.
Earlier, a suicide attack killed the Balkh province’s governor, Mullah Dawood Muzmal. It is pertinent to note that the Islamic State claimed responsibility for both terror attacks.
The Islamic State Khorasan is the main rival to Afghanistan’s Taliban-led government, which targets Taliban officials, foreign citizens and people. The Islamic State has intensified attacks in Afghanistan’s Kabul, Herat and Balkh provinces.
Although the Taliban claims the conflict has been finished in the country, the radical Islamic State of Khorasan and other militants have ferociously targeted Kabul city and other places, Khaama Press reported.
The United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur Richard Bennet tweeted, “Monitoring closely this mornings explosion at gathering of journalists in Tebayan Cultural Center, #Mazar-e-Sharif. No. of victims & injured not yet confirmed. This attack on journalists is another blow to freedom of expression in #Afghanistan & increased protection is necessary.” Richard Bennet is the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan.
(With inputs from ANI)