A blast targeted journalists’ gathering in the Balkh province of Afghanistan with reports of three journalists killed, and 30 wounded on March 11.
The attacks were carried out on Afghan News Agency (AVA) which is owned by the Tebyan centre, during a ceremony honouring Journalists. The cultural centre is connected to Iran’s Islamic government as per Khaama report.
In the last three days, this is the second explosion in Balkh province, the first one was a suicide attack that killed the governor of Balkh, Mullah Dawood Muzmal, and the second explosion targeted journalists’ gatherings.
Given the links with Iran, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran strongly condemned the terrorist attack as per Mehr News Agency.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani condemned the terrorist attack.
Meanwhile Afghan Freedom Front is reported to have claimed responsibility for the attack on March 10 in Kabul claiming three killed and four wounded members of the Taliban. Afghan Freedom Front is led by former Afghan republic military commander Yasin Zia as per the Voice of America.
However, the Taliban reportedly denied the attack as Khaled Zadran, the spokesman of the Kabul police did not given any statement on the explosion.
Ever since the Taliban has taken over the administration in the country there have been concerns over security of aid organisations but the group has given several assurances over the last few months to the international community about safety of diplomats and workers in international organisations.
ISK Presence in the North
The regional affiliate of IS — known as the Islamic State in Khorasan [ISK] Province has emerged as a significant security challenge for the Taliban. While the overall security remains under control, the number of attacks by the group have been progressively increasing.
While the Islamic Emirate has always denied a Daesh presence in Afghanistan there are growing concerns that the ISK has expanded the network in the North.
Colonel General Anatoly Sidorov, Chief of the Joint Staff of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), claimed that that the number of Daesh fighters in Afghanistan has increased to 6,500.
Speaking at a press conference, Sidorov said that up to 4,000 Daesh fighters are concentrated near Tajikistan’s border as per the Tass. However, the acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi rejected the claim of increased Daesh fighters in Afghanistan and said that the group has been defeated in Afghanistan.