Suspected suicide bomber kills, wounds dozens at Kabul mosque during evening prayers

It has now been a year since much of the world watched in horror as President Joe Biden’s abrupt and chaotic withdrawal of all remaining U.S. forces in Afghanistan effectively ceded that central Asian nation to the Islamofascist Taliban, and conditions in that already dangerous and impoverished nation have only continued to deteriorate.

Now at least 21 Afghans are dead and more than 30 others wounded following a terrorist bomb attack on a mosque in the capital city of Kabul on Wednesday, the Washington Examiner reported.

The attack, believed to have been perpetrated by a suicide bomber, is not the direct fault of the Taliban, however, and though no group has claimed credit for the bombing, it is widely suspected to have been the work of an Islamic State group affiliate that has continued to give the ruling Taliban trouble over the preceding year.

Prominent cleric among dead at Kabul mosque

The deadly blast was first reported by a female Afghan freelance journalist named Rabia Sadat, who initially reported that upwards of 50 people had perished in the attack on the Siddiquiya mosque in a northern section of Kabul, including a prominent cleric named Maulvi Amir Mohammad Kabuli.”

Subsequent reports have since reduced that initial death toll down to around 20 killed and 30 wounded, but it was confirmed that the religious scholar from northern Afghanistan was among the dead, the Examiner noted.

The Washington Post reported that the suspected suicide bombing attack occurred during evening prayers at the mosque, and a top Taliban spokesman named Zabihullah Mujahid issued a condemnatory statement that said, “The killers and perpetrators of the blast will be arrested soon and will be punished.”

It was also noted that the death toll could rise in the coming days as more bodies are discovered in the rubble or as some of the more severely injured victims succumb to their grievous wounds.

Resurgent Islamic State group affiliate likely to blame

It remains unknown at this why or even if the locally popular cleric and the mosque were specifically targeted or by who, but The Post noted that the Islamic State group affiliate had claimed credit for a suicide bombing just one week earlier at a seminary in Kabul that had killed a prominent Taliban cleric, among others.

The Associated Press reported that the affiliate group, known as Islamic State in Khorasan Province or IS-K, has proven to be a thorn in the side of the Taliban over the year that has elapsed since the U.S. withdrawal.

The outlet noted that for as barbaric and strict as the Taliban is, IS-K is arguably even worse, as its ideology is even more “violent and extreme” than that of the ruling regime, and while the Taliban seem content to simply govern Afghanistan, the Islamic State affiliate is devoted to waging worldwide jihad and establishing a broad Islamic caliphate far beyond the Afghan borders.

Almost crushed by the U.S. offensive, now plaguing the Taliban with attacks

Interestingly enough, The Post noted that IS-K had been all but obliterated in a U.S.-led joint operation with Afghan forces in 2019 in the eastern province of Nangahar, and though the group no longer controls territory as it once did, it has nonetheless reemerged over the past year as the sole “sustained threat” to the Taliban’s rule.

In fact, in addition to killing a Taliban cleric last week, the group has claimed credit for numerous attacks over the past year on Taliban fighters and officials, other mosques, and minority groups and, somewhat ironically, the efforts of the Taliban to harshly crack down on IS-K has only succeeded in strengthening that group with additional recruits and opportunities for counterattacks.

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