Hazara leaders request probe into deadly Kabul attack

Kabul, March 8 (IANS) | Publish Date: 3/8/2020 9:15:38 AM IST

Leaders of the Shia Muslim Hazara political parties in Afghanistan on have requested a rigorous probe into the deadly armed attack that targeted a gathering of people here while they were marking the death anniversary of a top community member.

On Friday, two gunmen opened fire on the gathering from a nearby building, killing 32 people and injuring nearly 60 others before they were shot dead by security forces six hours later, reports Efe news.

Hazara political leaders have said the number of casualties was higher than those published by the government.

“We want this case to be investigated seriously, we call on the international community, government and parliament to hear the oppressed voice of our people” Hazara leader, Muhammad Muhaqiq, who is also 2nd deputy of Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, told a press conference here on Saturday.

Abdullah was present at the crowded event along with other politicians but managed to escape.

“The Ministry of Interior said 29 were killed and 61 injured in the attack but we are hearing other independent sources saying the number of martyrs and injured persons is higher.

“They say up to 70 people martyred and over 80 are injured,” Muhaqiq said, who was accompanied in the presser by Karim Khalili, another Hazara leader and chairman of the High Peace Council.

Muhaqiq said the Kabul Police Chief had wanted to search the main venue for the event and the surrounding buildings, including the one where the attackers were holed-up but claimed some members of the security forces declined to do so.

“I don’t blame all security forces... but there are suspicious traces in this case that should be investigated,” Muhaqiq said. He said a foreign commission should be involved in an inquiry into the attack. The event was held to remember Abdul Ali Mazari on his 15th death anniversary. The Shia Hazara leader was killed by the Taliban in 1995.

The incident was the latest in a series of attacks against the Hazara people. Dozens of attacks have occurred in the last three years, most of them around Kabul, where a large number of the persecuted ethnic minority live.

Nearly all the attacks were claimed by the Khorasan branch of the Islamic State terror organization.


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