52 dead in bombing at Afghan Shia shrine
The Taliban have declined to take responsibility which leads one to believe it's just more of the same kind of sectarian violence we see elsewhere in the region.
Afghan officials say at least 52 people, including women and children, have been killed in a suicide bomb attack on a Shi'ite shrine in central Kabul.
Officials say at least one attacker detonated explosives near the Abul Fazel shrine as pilgrims gathered Tuesday to mark the Shi'ite festival of Ashura. More than 100 people also were wounded in the blast.
"The ceremony was about to finish," says Kabul police chief General Mohammad Ayoub Salangi. "A new group arrived and the suicide bombers placed themselves among the new group. As a result of the suicide bombing, unfortunately, some of our Muslim mourners have been killed."
Eyewitnesses say that some hospitals in the area are overwhelmed with the number of wounded.
"I took this wounded person to this emergency hospital for treatment, but here, there is not treatment, and no one cares that I have been waiting here for two hours," said Shah Hussein, a Kabul resident. "I need to take this person to another hospital."
Authorities say the number of casualties is expected to rise.
According to the CIA World Fact Book, Shia Muslims make up 19% of the population of Afghanistan, a not inconsiderable number of potential targets. If the Sunnis want to add a sectarian war to their troubles, it couldn't have come at a worse time. With American troops, leaving, there will be no buffer between the two bitter enemies if a tit for tat war breaks out.
Let's hope this is an isolated, albeit tragic, incident.