Deadly bombing at Afghanistan journalist award ceremony kills at least one, injures eight

A deadly bombing on Saturday at an award ceremony for Afghanistan journalists has taken the life of at least one person and has reportedly injured eight others at the Tabian Farhang center in the city of Mazar-e Sharif, the capital of Balkh province.

(Video Credit: AFP News Agency)

According to Mohammad Asif Waziri, a Taliban-appointed spokesman for Balkh police, the bombing took place at approximately 11:30 am in Afghanistan.

“Today, at 11:30 am an explosion occurred at the Tabyan Cultural Centre, in the second police district of Mazar-i-Sharif in Balkh province … the explosion happened due to a mine,” Abdul Nafi Takor, who is the spokesperson for the Taliban administration’s Ministry of Interior, said.

It is unknown who the person was that died in Saturday’s explosion but journalists were wounded in the incident. One of those injured was Najeeb Faryad, a reporter for Aryana News television station, who recounted he heard a deafening sound and felt like something slammed him in the back before he fell to the ground. Sajad Mosawi, a journalist in Balkh was also injured in the blast.

Reuters is reporting that five journalists and three children were among the injured and a security guard was killed.

So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the bombing. But the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, which is a regional affiliate of the Islamic State group, is a primary rival of the Taliban.

The terrorist group has upped its attacks in Afghanistan since the Taliban seized control of the country in August 2021 and gave Americans the boot. Taliban patrols and members of Afghanistan’s Shiite minority have become the favored targets for the group.

This bombing comes just two days after another one in Mazar-e-Sharif that killed three people, including the provincial governor, Daud Muzmal according to the New York Post. Four people were wounded in the blast.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack on Thursday, naming the assailant as Abdul Haq al-Khorasani, according to ABC News. He evidently passed through all security measures to enter the official’s building and carry out the attack.

The governor of Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar will temporarily run Balkh until Supreme Spiritual Leader Haibatullah Akhundzada selects a new governor for the northern province, an important trade hub with Central Asia, his spokesperson Haji Zaid told Reuters in an interview.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s chief spokesman, proclaimed Muzmal was killed “by the enemies of Islam.” He said an investigation is underway but did not provide further details, according to ABC News.

Muzmal is one of the most senior Taliban officials to have been killed since the Islamist group took power in mid-August 2021.

Recently, the Taliban has cracked down on the Islamic State. Their security forces killed several regional members, including leaders, in separate operations last month.

Taliban forces have also detained ISIS members, including foreign nationals planning deadly attacks, during raids, according to Mujahid.

In January, eight Islamic State militants were killed and nine others arrested in raids targeting key players in Kabul and Nimroz provinces.

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