Bomb attack on a minivan in Kabul kills a journalist

MONITORING (SW) – A bomb attack on a minivan in a Shi’ite neighborhood of Kabul has killed a well-known Afghan television journalist, according to an Afghan media watchdog and the journalist’s wife.

The Afghan Journalists’ Center tweeted hours after the November 13 blast in western Kabul’s Dasht-e Barchi neighborhood that the explosion had killed Hamid Seighani, who worked for the Ariana television network, reported RFE.

Seighani’s wife, who is also a journalist, confirmed his death in a Facebook post, saying, “I have lost Hamid.”

Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s main spokesman, said the blast caused a fire in Dasht-e Barchi. He said at least one civilian was killed. Mujahid said an investigation by the Taliban was under way.

Residents of the Dasht-e Barchi neighborhood confirmed hearing an explosion and seeing a vehicle burning after the blast.

A local man who gave his name as Ismael said he helped carry wounded people to a nearby hospital. He said at least three people were killed.

There was no confirmation of casualty numbers from hospital workers and no immediate claim of responsibility.

But the director of a nearby hospital who specializes in burn cases said at least two people suffered serious burn injuries.

Dr. Hakim Nasir Khesrow Balkhi said two wounded people were in critical condition when they were admitted to the hospital.

The bus driver, who goes by the single name Murtaza, told the AP at the hospital that a suspicious man got onto the vehicle a few minutes before an explosion went off at the back of the bus.

The driver said he saw two passengers with their clothes on fire falling out of the back of the vehicle. He said other passengers escaped out the front.

The Dasht-e Barchi area is heavily populated by Shi’ite ethnic Hazara, who have been the target of repeated attacks by Islamic State militants — including a bomb attack on May 12, 2020, at the maternity ward of the local hospital that killed 24 people.

The latest attack came a day after a bomb exploded inside a Sunni mosque in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar.

That blast, which killed at least three people, occurred during Friday Prayers at the village mosque of Tarela in the Spin Ghar district.

The office of Nangarhar’s Taliban-appointed governor issued a statement on November 13 saying that two “perpetrators” were arrested in connection with the mosque attack. It did not provide further details about the suspects.

“Further investigation into the incident is ongoing and more actions will be taken,” the statement said.