Afghan authorities have blamed a Pakistani militant group for an attack on a Shia Muslim mosque located in western part of the capital, Kabul.
Afghan security officials said the attack happened around 4:30 a.m. local time in the western part of the Afghan capital as worshippers gathered for morning prayers on Thursday. Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security (NDS) said three worshippers were wounded when two heavily armed gunmen opened fire inside the mosque. At least two anti-Shia attackers were killed in an exchange of fire. The anti-Shia bombers were killed before they could set off his explosives. The latest attack comes at a time when the country is grappling with growing wave of violence and militancy. The NDS said the anti-Shia attackers were senior members of the death squad of a Pakistani-based pro-Taliban and an anti-Shia terrorist group known as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). The group has carried out numerous terrorist attacks across Pakistan over the past few years. “The enemies of the prosperity and stability of the people of Afghanistan include circles inside Pakistan’s intelligence service and the Punjabis,” the statement said. Punjab is Pakistan’s most powerful province and is home to some of the most vicious militant groups, including Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. The pro-Taliban anti-Shia groups have launched a violent campaign against the Shia Muslims across Pakistan. Shia Muslims in Pakistan say the government must take decisive action against the forces involved in the targeted killings. They also accuse Islamabad of failing to provide security for the Muslim community. The relations between Kabul and Islamabad are also traditionally mired in distrust. Afghanistan and Pakistan blame each other for the Taliban violence plaguing both countries.