The eastern Nangarhar province known as evergreen
province for its pleasant weather and being conducive for various crops frequently
came under deadly explosions and suicide bombings. In the latest series of
bloody bombings, a massive blast tore through a mosque at the time of Friday
prayer on October 18, reportedly killing nearly 70 and wounding more than 32
Mubarez Atal, Spokesperson for Nangarhar police chief,
told Kabul Now the type of the blast has not been discovered yet and a probe is
underway to identify the perpetrators.
Describing the attack as a ‘war
crime’ and inhumane, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC),
however, said it was planted bombs that went off inside the mosque.
attack was widely condemned
Having condemned the attack, President Ghani indirectly blamed Taliban arguing the militant group either conduct these terrorist attacks or provided ground for the other groups like the Islamic State to carry out such attack.
The president visited Haskamina district today, October 20, to pay tribute to the victims of the mosque bombing and shared condolences with the families of the victims.
The Taliban, however, condemned the attack. The group denied responsibility for the attack in a statement.
Sediq Seddiqi, spokesperson for
President Ghani, wrote on his twitter account that the government has
dispatched a team to the province to provide aid for the families of the
victims and those who were wounded in the attack.
Calling the attack an unforgettable crime, Chief Executive Abdulla said such crimes suggest weaknesses of the enemies.
The AIHRC has urged the warring
parties to respect international humanitarian laws, and asked the security and
justice institutions to launch a probe on the incident and bring the
perpetrators to justice.
Issuing a statement, the Senate
called on the government to declare today, Sunday, October 20, as a national
UN Secretary General António
Guterres also condemned the attack and noted that those responsible must be
“Killing worshippers assembled
together in peace is unconscionable. All Afghans have the right to live and
worship together in safety,” US Ambassador to Afghanistan, John R. Bass said in
NATO mission in Afghanistan
reiterates that they will stand with the Afghan defense and security forces to
fight against the international terrorism.
Why Nangarhar is
In addition to the Taliban, the
Islamic State – Khurasan Province (ISKP) are actively present in the province
since 2014. Although Afghan forces and their international allies have launched
many operations to suppress the ISKP affiliated terrorists but they have
reportedly created new bases in recent months.
As stated by the governor
spokesperson, Atal, massive military offensives have been conducted in Achin
district of the province and the terrorists suffered heavy casualties.
According to him, 10 ISKP members were killed, three bases, eight outposts, two
tunnels, and a hideout of the terrorists were destroyed in a recent offensive.
He, however, stated that
Haskamina, where the mosque attack happened, is under the control of the
Atiqullah Amarkhil, a military
commentator, argued that the militant groups launched attacks on Nangarhar
because it was a key province adjacent to the capital Kabul. “The Taliban
entered Kabul through Nangarhar and Mujahideen also launched their first attack
on Nangarhar,” he added, noting that Nangarhar is regarded as Kabul gateway.
“An insecure Nangarhar is in the
interest of Pakistan,” Amarkhil said. He noted that if the province becomes
secure the water streaming through it to Pakistan would be stopped.
In addition to Pakistan’s role in
insecurity, some local officials say there are no sufficient force to defend
MP Abdul Rauf Shpoon, who says
the estimated population of the province touches nearly five million, argued
that the security measures in the province are not taken on the basis estimated
number of population.
Blaming Pakistan for such
attacks, he warned that if the country continues to spread violence in
Afghanistan, it will ultimately harm Pakistan as well.
The attack comes while the United
Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a report on October
17 that overall, in the first nine months of 2019, it has documented 8,239 civilians’
casualties (2,563 killed and 5,676 injured).