Suicide Bomber Kills 26 People in Afghanistan During New Year’s Celebrations

Bodies of civilians lie on the ground at hospital after a suicide attack in front of the Kabul university in Kabul, Wednesday, March 21, 2018. Afghan officials are reporting a large explosion on the road to a Shiite shrine in the capital, where people had gathered to mark the Persian new year. (AP Photo/ Rahmat Gul)

A suicide bomber struck on the road to a Shiite shrine in Afghanistan’s capital on Wednesday, killing at least 26 people as Afghans celebrated the Persian new year, an official said.

Nasrat Rahimi, the deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said another 18 people were wounded in the attack. He said the attacker was on foot.

The Persian new year, known in Afghanistan as Nauruz, is a national holiday. The country’s minority Shiites typically celebrate by visiting shrines.

No one immediately claimed the attack. Afghanistan is home to a powerful Islamic State affiliate that has repeatedly targeted Shiites, who the Sunni extremists view as apostates deserving of death.

SOURCE: The Associated Press