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14 killed, 43 injured in attack on worshippers marking Ashoura in Kabul

AT-KABUL: Terrorists targeted Ashoura mourners in the Afghan capital Kabul late on Tuesday in which at least 14 people killed and 43 were injured as they gathered to celebrate Ashoura, one of the most important festivals on the Shia-Muslim calendar.

At least one attacker was killed, interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.

The attacker wearing a suicide vest and dressed in a police uniform -entered the Kart-e-Sakhi shrine near Kabul University and opened fire on the people. 14 including a policeman were killed and 43 including three policemen were injured.

A witness said the man shot at police with a pistol before taking one of their AK-47 assault rifles and “firing randomly at worshippers”.

The interior ministry had previously said two attackers had been killed and at least one more assailant remained on the loose.

Security forces in Kabul were already on high alert. They had warned the Shia community earlier to avoid gathering in public places because they apparently had intelligence that an attack might happen.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the assault.

The attack, which began just before 8pm (15:30 GMT), occurred as potentially hundreds of Shia Muslims gathered to observe the Ashoura holy day, which commemorates the 7th-century death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

The last attack on the Afghan Shia minority – on July 23 in Kabul – killed 84 people and left 130 injured. It was claimed by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The wave of violence underscored unravelling security in Afghanistan as the resurgent Taliban continue a push into urban centres 15 years after they were toppled from power by the US invasion.

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