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IS suicide bomber kills 29 as Afghans celebrate new year

KABUL, Afghanistan — An Islamic State suicide bomber strikes on the road to a Shiite shrine in Afghanistan’s capital on Wednesday, killing at least 29 people as Afghans celebrate the Persian new year.

The Public Health Ministry says another 52 people were wounded in the attack, which was carried out by a bomber on foot.

The Islamic State group claims the attack in an online statement, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi websites. IS says the attack targeted “a gathering of Shiites celebrating Nauruz.”

The Persian new year, known in Afghanistan as Nauruz, is a national holiday, and the country’s minority Shiites typically celebrate by visiting shrines. The Sunni extremists of IS have repeatedly targeted Shiites, who they view as apostates deserving of death.

The attack took place near Kabul University and a government hospital, around one kilometer (mile) away from the Sakhi shrine, where people were gathered to celebrate the new year, says Gen. Daud Amin, Kabul’s police chief.

— AP

Police patrol the streets after a suicide attack in front of the Kabul university in Kabul, on March 21, 2018. (AP Photo/ Rahmat Gul)

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