Afghanistan: terror targets Hazara —again

Militants opened fire on Shi'ite worshipers celebrating Ashura at the Imam Ali shrine in the Karte Sakhi district of the Afghan capital Kabul Oct. 11, leaving at least 14 dead and 36 others wounded. According to eyewitnesses, at least one of the gunmen detonated a suicide vest after shooting into the crowd. Shi'ites make up about 15% of Afghanistan's population, mostly members of the Hazara ethnic group. They have been increasingly targetted for terror in recent months. Although no group has yet taken responsibility for the Karte Sakhi terror, previous attacks on the Hazara have been claimed by the Afghan franchise of ISIS.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Afghan troops have been deployed to drive Taliban fighters from the capital of Helmand province, Lashkar Gah, in the south. Militants have been pushed back to the outskirts of Lashkar Gah, but the city is reportedly in lock-down with only a few shops open and many families trying to flee the fighting. Schools and universities across Helmand have been closed indefinitely. The new assault is the Taliban's most concerted push yet into the city. (Khaama Press, BBC News, Oct. 11)