A bomb blast on a bus left at least seven people dead in the western city of Herat in Afghanistan on Saturday. At least nine more have been injured in the blast.

The blast victims were rushed to the Herat provincial hospital following the incident, and the head of the hospital told AFP, “Four women were among the seven killed.”

Herat’s intelligence office also confirmed the blast and the manner in which it was carried out, telling media, “Initial reports indicate it was a sticky bomb attached to the fuel tank of the passenger vehicle.”

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Herat is Afghanistan’s third-largest city and is located close to the border of Iran. It had been relatively free of attacks over the past few months until Saturday’s incident.

At the time of writing, no group or individual had claimed responsibility for the blast and authorities have named no suspects either.

While the security situation in Afghanistan has improved following the Taliban’s capture of the capital, Kabul, several attacks are still being reported every week.

In particular, the Shia Hazara community in Afghanistan has repeatedly been targeted by the regional chapter of the Islamic State, Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-K) since the Taliban seized power in the country in August 2021.

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Incidentally, the bomb blast which took place in Herat also occurred at a location inhabited by the Shia Hazara community, and given the Islamic State’s acts of aggression against the community, the attack could well have been carried out by the group.

However, responsibility for the attack has not been fixed yet and local Taliban official Naeemulhaq Haqqani has said that an investigation has been launched into the incident to glean further insights into the crime and identify the culprits.