Four suicide bombers with Islamic State (IS) Extremists entered a Shiite Mosque, killing 37 worshippers and wounding more than 70. This follows another bombing that took place just a week earlier. The extremist group that claimed the attack as their own, IS, is openly against the Taliban rule of Afghanistan, and they remain active in a number of Middle Eastern countries.
The Taliban and the IS are both Sunni Muslims and extremist’s groups, but this does not unify their ideologies; IS members are far more extreme in their views. While they both oppose the practices of the Shiite minority, the Taliban leaders have pledged to protect them, following Shiite persecution during previous Taliban rule. Islamic state members resent this, as they believe the Shiite population should be wiped out.
Details from Afghanistan are limited as the hospital that took the victims was not authorized to answer media questions. They did confirm the number of deaths, and there are some eye witness accounts as well as video footage of the incident.
Unrest has surged in recent weeks since the U.S. has pulled troops from Afghanistan, creating a power vacuum. Not enough political organization in the region results in high amounts of violence to take power by force. Although the Taliban is the ruling group, they do not have the ability to ensure events like these will not continue.
Shiite Muslims will continue to live in fear as long as the IS extremists are targeting their worship locations. Without a strong authority present, more events like these could be anticipated.
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