Pakistan strongly condemns deadly mosque attack in Herat

At least six people including imam of the mosque and a three-year-old child were killed in the attack

News Desk May 01, 2024
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad. PHOTO: FILE

Pakistan on Wednesday strongly condemned yesterday’s heinous terrorist attack on a mosque in Herat, Afghanistan, resulting in loss of lives and injuries.

At least six people including imam of the mosque and a three-year-old child were killed in the attack, with local residents claiming the minority Shia community had been targeted.

“The people and government of Pakistan extend their heartfelt condolences to the people of Afghanistan. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families in this hour of grief,” a Foreign Office statement said.

“Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including despicable attacks on places of worship,” it added.

While no group claimed the attack, the regional chapter of Da’ish is the largest security threat in Afghanistan and has frequently targeted Shia communities.

The Taliban government has pledged to protect religious and ethnic minorities since returning to power in August 2021, but rights monitors say they've done little to make good on that promise.

Also read: Gunman kills six in attack on Afghan mosque: govt spokesman

The most notorious attack linked to Da’ish since the Taliban takeover was in 2022, when at least 53 people – including 46 girls and young women – were slain in the suicide bombing of an education centre.

Taliban officials blamed Da’ish for the attack, which happened in a Shia neighbourhood of the capital Kabul.

Afghanistan's new rulers claim to have ousted Da’ish from the country and are highly sensitive to suggestions the group has found safe haven there since the withdrawal of foreign forces.

Taliban authorities have frequently given death tolls lower than other sources after bombings and gun attacks, or otherwise downplayed them, in an apparent attempt to minimise security threats.

A United Nations Security Council report released in January said there had been a decrease in Da’ish attacks in Afghanistan because of "counter-terrorism efforts by the Taliban".

But the report said Da’ish still had "substantial" recruitment in the country and that the militant group had "the ability to project a threat into the region and beyond".

(With input from AFP)


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