A suicide bomber struck on the road to a Shi’ite shrine in Kabul on Wednesday, killing at least 26 people as Afghans celebrated the Persian new year. The attack took place near the Kabul University and a government hospital, around one kilometer away from the Sakhi shrine, where people were gathered to celebrate the new year, said Gen. Daud Amin, Kabul’s police chief. Nasrat Rahimi, deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said another 18 people were injured in the attack.
Nauruz, the Persian new year, in Afghanistan is a national holiday, and the country’s minority Shi’ites celebrate by visiting shrines. No one immediately claimed the attack, but Afghanistan is home to a powerful Islamic State affiliate that has repeatedly targeted Shi’ites. The Taliban, who mainly target security forces, Afghan officials and foreigners, denied its involvement in the attack.