ISIS Claims Credit for Attack on Afghan Shi’ites in Herat

Taliban had claimed to have eliminated ISIS is Afghanistan

Tuesday night, the local ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan, ISIS-K, issued a statement claiming credit for Monday’s attack on a Shi’ite mosque in Andiseh in the Herat Province. The Taliban government says investigations into the incident are still ongoing.

On Monday, a gunman entered the mosque during evening prayers, opening fire on worshippers. At least six civilians were reported killed and another was wounded. The imam in the mosque was among the slain. The attacker fled the scene.

For years, ISIS-K has carried out attacks on the Shi’ite minority in Afghanistan, notably the Hazaras. The Taliban had promised to protect the nation’s minorities, both ethnic and religious, but rights groups say little has been done.

Ironically, despite the Taliban claim to have eliminated ISIS from Afghanistan, this most recent attack shows they are still active. Claims of success against the group aren’t new; during the US presence ISIS-K was reported defeated outright more than once, only to come back time and time again.

Post-US attacks have continued. In 2022 ISIS-K attacked an education center in the Shi’ite neighborhood of Kabul, killing at least 53. Sunni Islamist groups in Afghanistan have often gone after Shi’ites as an easy target, as governments have repeatedly failed to protect them.

Residents of Herat reacted in anger after the most recent attack, demanding that the government make more effort to secure all mosques. The Taliban did not address that possibility, only saying that the investigation continues.

A Shi’ite nation itself, neighboring Iran was the first to issue a statement condemning the Herat attack. Pakistan has subsequently offered their own condemnation of the matter.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.