It’s the major Shi’ite holiday of Ashura, and as usual that means the Shi’ite minority in a number of countries are under fire. This was particularly true in Afghanistan, where a gunman attacked a Shi’ite shrine in the capital city of Kabul, killing at least 14.
The man opened fire at the Karte Sakhi shrine early this morning, quickly getting into a gunbattle with Afghan security forces, which lasted some two hours. In the end 14 civilians were killed, along with the gunman. 36 people were also reported wounded.
Ashura is a holiday which sees large numbers of Shi’ites gather around mosques and shrines, and hold public processions. This tends to make them easy targets, and as a result, virtually every year multiple such attacks are reported.
There has been no claim of responsibility for this particular attack yet, but in Afghanistan attacks on the Shi’ite Hazaras are fairly common, with numerous Islamist factions targeting them throughout the year, and such attacks seen particularly around this time of year.