A bomb blast on a minibus in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat has killed at least seven people and left several others injured, local officials say.
The attack was carried out near a bus station in an area inhabited by the minority Shia Hazara community in the country’s third-largest city on Saturday. A sticky bomb was attached to the fuel tank of the vehicle prior to the blast. Nine people were also wounded.
Arif Jalali, head of Herat's provincial hospital told AFP, “Four women were among the seven killed.”
Sabit Harwi, a spokesman for Herat's intelligence office, also confirmed the blast. “Initial reports indicate it was a sticky bomb attached to the fuel tank of the passenger vehicle.”
Herat provincial police and ministry of culture have also confirmed the bomb blast.
No individual or group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Taliban officials in the past have blamed the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group for similar attacks on civilians.
Daesh has a foothold in eastern and northern Afghanistan, particularly in Nangarhar, which is regarded as its base in the war-torn country. It has claimed responsibility for several attacks across Afghanistan recently.
The Hazara community, the poorest of the country’s ethnic groups, accounts for about 22 percent of Afghanistan’s population. Its members have been targeted in several large-scale kidnappings and killings across Afghanistan in the past by Daesh.
Security in Afghanistan has vastly improved since the Taliban’s takeover of the country. However, several attacks are reported each week throughout the country, including some claimed by Daesh.
The Taliban, who had previously ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, took power again on August 15 as the US was in the middle of a chaotic troop withdrawal. The group announced the formation of a caretaker government on September 7. No country has yet recognized their rule.