ISIS Claims Responsibility For Deadly Attack Aimed At Afghan Hazaras

ISIS Claims Responsibility For Deadly Attack Aimed At Afghan Hazaras

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.

Members of the local police who were sent to assist the soldiers were ambushed by the Taliban while on their way to the outpost in the remote district of Khwaja Ghar.

A day earlier, the U.S. announced a Dollars 5 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Afghanistan-based Maulana Fazlullah, leader of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an outfit which carries out terrorist attacks inside Pakistan.

The bomber came as close to the gathering as he could and detonated his explosives at the checkpoint outside, the spokesman said.

A week before the ambulance attack, militants stormed a luxury hotel in Kabul, killing 22 people, including 14 foreigners.

Shortly after the attack, President Ghani issued a statement condemning the bombing and promising that those behind it, if found and convicted, would be given the death penalty. Officials said the attacker was on foot.

Akbaruddin, however, said it should be clear to the armed opposition that there will be no tolerance for those who continue violence.

The Taliban claimed the responsibility of the attack.

But Nasrat Rahimi, a deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry, attributed Friday's attack to the Haqqani network, which has carried out several deadly attacks in Afghanistan over the years.

Kazim Ali, who was at the gathering, told AFP the force of the explosion shattered the windows of the mosque.

"We will remain in Afghanistan as long as it takes to keep it from becoming a terrorist safe haven", she asserted.

"We've been spending so much time focused on how do we get the Taliban across the starting line in recognition of a need for negotiations and how do we use our military actions to help shape the conditions for a successful negotiation", she said.

The statement issued by the department describes Maulana Fazlullah as the leader of the TTP, a terrorist organization that has claimed responsibility for numerous terrorist acts against Pakistani and USA interests, including the failed attempt by Faisal Shahzad to detonate an explosive device in New York City's Times Square on May 1, 2010. He claimed the Taliban had inflicted a far higher number of casualties but the insurgents often exaggerate their claims.

Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, also claimed responsibility for that attack.