Blast near mosque in western Afghan city of Herat

Afghan volunteers and security personnel carry the body of man on a stretcher after two suicide bombers struck a Shiite mosque in Herat on March 25, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 25 March 2018

Blast near mosque in western Afghan city of Herat

HERAT, Afghanistan: A suicide attack near a Shiite mosque in the Western Afghan city of Herat killed at least one person and wounded eight others, police and health officials said on Sunday.
Militant group Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, which followed another blast claimed by the group in Kabul last week, which killed around 30 people near a Shiite shrine as the city celebrated Nawruz, the Persian new year.
Deputy police chief Aminullah Amin said two bombers had tried to enter the mosque but were challenged by guards at the site who opened fire on them.
Health officials said one person was confirmed dead, with eight wounded but the final casualty figure may change.
Herat, one of the most prosperous cities in Afghanistan, has seen periodic episodes of violence but has not suffered the same level of attacks as the capital Kabul.
While sectarian violence in mainly Sunni Muslim Afghanistan was previously rare, a series of attacks over recent years, many claimed by Islamic State, have killed hundreds of Shiites, many from the Hazara ethnic minority.
The violence has gone on alongside a general deterioration in security in Afghanistan as Taliban insurgents have fought government forces across much of the country, killing thousands of civilians every year.


UK PM names Nadhim Zahawi as minister responsible for vaccine deployment

Updated 28 November 2020

UK PM names Nadhim Zahawi as minister responsible for vaccine deployment

  • Zahawi will report to health minister Matt Hancock in his new role
  • His primary focus will be vaccine deployment although he will keep some of his business responsibilities

LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has named Nadhim Zahawi, currently a junior business minister, as the minister responsible for COVID-19 vaccine deployment, in a sign that the government is readying a mass vaccination program.
Zahawi will report to health minister Matt Hancock in his new role, with his primary focus on vaccine deployment although he will keep some of his business responsibilities.
A statement from the Prime Minister’s office on Saturday added that the new arrangement was temporary and would last until at least next summer.

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