Blast in Kabul's Shia area kills at least seven; Daesh claims responsibility

Kabul is one of the deadliest places in Afghanistan for civilians as both the Taliban and the expanding IS group step up assaults on the city

The bomber appeared to have meant to attack a crowd gathered to mark the anniversary of the killing of Hazara political leader Abdul Ali Mazari by the Taliban in 1995, but he was stopped before reaching the main gathering.

However, there has been no let up in the violence that has been killing and wounding more than 10,000 civilians a year - and many more combatants - with fighting continuing across large parts of the country and Kabul itself hit repeatedly by attacks.

Fazlullah is known for training suicide bombers, and was the target of a US drone strike that killed over 20 militants on Wednesday.

Security personnel inspect the site of the suicide attack.

"But that does not imply that we would support or think that there's any manipulation of Afghanistan so that it can be used against Pakistan", Wells said in response to a question at the US Institute of Peace, a US-Congress supported top American think-tank.

The attack comes amid growing pressure on the Taliban to take up an offer for direct talks on peace
Crackdown on Pakistan Taliban: US announces $5 mn reward on TTP chief Maulana Fazlullah

Friday's attack came less than two weeks after President Ashraf Ghani called on the Taliban to join peace talks in a country which has been at war for decades.

At least seven people have been killed and seven others wounded after a suicide attack near a Shia mosque in the Afghan capital, Kabul, officials said.

Most Hazaras are Shiite Muslims, and Sunni militant groups consider all Shiites heretics and urge followers to kill them. He claimed the Taliban had inflicted a far higher number of casualties but the insurgents often exaggerate their claims.

The death toll has risen to nine, Waheed Majroh, spokesman for the Health Ministry said. Provincial Police Spokesman said Taliban attacked an army outpost in a remote region of northern Takhar province killing ten policemen. Mazari was killed by the Taliban in 1995. The report could not be independently confirmed because of the area's remoteness.

Home Secretary visits scene of nerve agent attack
Moscow's other, better-known Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) is the successor to the KGB's First Chief Directorate. Russian media said his motivation was financial: he received more than $100,000 paid into a Spanish bank account.

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