US reports have described the IS attack on a mosque in northern Afghanistan as a sign that Afghanistan is entering a new phase of sectarian and internal conflict, and possibly civil war, who was warned after the US withdrawal from the country. The IS attack on the mosque on Friday is not all the problems, but the collapse of the government, the weakness of the Taliban and the suspension of all basic necessities of life are what made the internal conditions miserable in this country, according to the American newspaper The New York Times.
An ISIS suicide bomber on Friday destroyed a Shia mosque in Kunduz, northern Afghanistan, killing dozens of worshipers as part of an escalation of the terror group’s campaign, which recently targeted a mosque in Kabul and the Kabul airport, which killed dozens.
The massacre happened as the mosque was packed for Friday prayers, the group’s second attack on a mosque in days. It was an awareness of the fears of the Afghan Hazaras that ISIS would continue to target them and prosper under the rule of the Taliban, who had themselves attacked the Hazaras in the past.
Mataleh Rouhani, a Taliban official in Kunduz, told local media that the attack killed at least 43 people and injured more than 140. But a local Shia leader said the death toll was much higher.
Syed Ahmad Shah Hashemi, who represents the Shia population of Kunduz province, told the New York Times that more than 70 people were killed in the attack. This fatal incident caused shock in Afghanistan and other sectors of society.
Hours after the attack, ISIS claimed responsibility. The attack is considered the deadliest by the group since the suicide bombing at Kabul International Airport on August 26, which killed around 170 civilians and 13 US soldiers.
ISIS-K also launched an attack several days ago outside a mosque in the capital, Kabul, killing several people.
A United Nations report released in June indicated that in the months leading up to the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, between 8,000 and 10,000 extremist fighters from Central Asia, the North Caucasus to Russia and Pakistan , and Xinjiang in western China, flocked to Afghanistan. Most of them are said to be linked to the Taliban or closely linked al Qaeda, but others were allied with ISIS.
Announcing the attack in Kunduz on Friday, the group’s statement said the attacker was from the Uyghur ethnic group, a persecuted Muslim minority in western China.
China has long feared that Afghanistan will become a safe haven for Uyghur militants who may seek to attack the interests of the Chinese government in retaliation for its abuses against the Muslim population of Xinjiang.
The newly formed Taliban government, after overthrowing the West-backed administration, is struggling to contain the rise of Islamic State. Hostility between the two groups has grown stronger in recent weeks, with ISIS launching guerrilla-style attacks and bombings involving Taliban fighters. The new government is also grappling with a collapsing economy where foreign funding remains largely frozen.
As Taliban officials have shifted from leading the insurgency to forming a functioning state, ensuring the safety of the people has been a measure of their success after more than 40 years of war ravaging them. But IS attacks have undermined Taliban promises.
For Afghanistan’s Shiite minority, the new era of the Taliban has seen the continued looting and violence that haunted them for decades. The Hazaras have grown increasingly bitter towards the US-backed government of President Ashraf Ghani in recent years, accusing him of doing little to protect them.