A suicide bomber on a motorcycle detonated explosives close to Sunday’s procession commemorating the death of former anti-Soviet mujahideen commander Ahmad Shah Massoud who later became leader of so-called Northern Alliance against whom Taliban government had waged a war.
On the other hand, Gelani Farhad, the provincial governor’s spokesman, said insurgents have attacked a checkpoint in the western Herat province, killing at least nine Afghan security forces and wounding another six. He says the attack was likely carried out by the Taliban, who are active in the district and frequently target security forces and government officials. Afghan forces have struggled to combat both the Taliban and a Daesh affiliate since the US and NATO formally ended their combat mission in 2014. The attack late Saturday ignited a gunbattle in which around 10 insurgents were killed and five wounded.
The Sunday blast in Kabul, which wounded at least two people, came hours after another suspected suicide bomber was shot by police in Kabul before he could detonate his device.
Earlier, gunfire could be heard across the city as demonstrators fired automatic weapons in aggressive displays of support for Massoud, an ethnic Tajik leader who was killed by suicide bombers in 2001.
With parliamentary elections approaching next month and rivalry between Afghanistan’s ethnic groups on the increase, the annual commemoration day for Massoud has created a tense atmosphere in Kabul, where major roads were blocked by police.
The blast came four days after more than 20 people were killed by a suicide bomber at a wrestling club in Kabul as well as a secondary blast apparently aimed at first responders and journalists.