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Multiple explosions in Kabul on March 21 have killed six people and wounded 23, a spokesman for the Afghan Health Ministry said.

There were conflicting reports about what caused the blasts near the Karti Sakhi Shi’ite shrine and cemetery, in a heavily Shi’ite Muslim area in the western part of the Afghan capital.

Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said mortar shells were fired as people gathered there to mark the holiday of Norouz, the pre-Islamic Persian New Year.

The Defense Ministry said on Twitter that three rockets were fired at civilian homes and Norouz gatherings. The ministry said police had arrested the attacker and secured the area.

All routes to the shrine were cordoned off by security forces, a local TV live telecast showed.

Traditionally, people hoist green flags at the shrine and honor the dead at the cemetery by placing food at the gravesides.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but an affiliate of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group has in the past targeted Afghanistan’s Shi’a community. IS considers Shi’ite Muslims heretics.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and dpa

Citations

[1]Norouz Attack In Kabul Kills At Least Six; IS Claims Responsibility .... https://www.rferl.org/a/at-least-six-killed-in-kabul-blasts/29833772.html