The news from Kabul is that the ISIS militants stormed a mosque of the Shia community during evening prayers on Friday, in an attack that lasted over four hours. Reports indicate that 20 Shia Muslims were killed and over 50 seriously wounded including children. According to Mohammed Sadique Muradi, a police official, there were four attackers, two of which blew themselves up and the other two were shot dead by Afghan Security Forces. Credit for the attack was claimed by ISIS and came just after a Taliban attack on a military convoy in Helmand province, Militarynews.com reported.

The attack

The attack brought forth the usual condemnation and the Afghan President urged all to condemn the attack.

Such statements sound pretty hollow and do not assuage the feelings of the next of kin. Information was received that the death toll is likely to go up as many of the wounded are in serious condition. The mosque is a large place of worship and can accommodate over a thousand devotees with separate prayer halls for men and women. The suicide bombers took over the mosque as the security forces did not initially attempt to enter the mosque to avoid causalities. Finally, with no end in sight, the security forces advanced and the militants blew themselves up. It was a harrowing time for the worshipers.

ISIS and Taliban

The Islamic State has, in a statement on the website of its news agency Aamaq, claimed that it had deployed two attackers to target the mosque. There was no immediate explanation for the contradictory number of attackers.

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Mir Hussain Nasiri, a member of Afghanistan's Shiite clerical council, said that the cleric who was conducting the prayers was one of those killed.

ISIS and the Taliban have become more active after it became clear to them that the US is not growing to withdraw from Afghanistan. The Islamic State also attacked the Iraqi embassy in Kabul and a mosque in Herat killing 32 persons. The Taliban, acting on its own on Friday, attacked an outpost in Kandahar but were repulsed by the Afghan security forces. Four security personnel were killed and seven injured.

Future

The U.S. is slowly moving into top gear with a renewed strategy and General Nicholson, the top U.S. general in Afghanistan said that along with the Afghan security forces, both the ISIS and the Taliban, would be defeated.

President Trump has approved a troop increase in Afghanistan but the time table was not announced. This announcement has given new heart to the Kabul Government and there is every chance that a fresh U.S .strategy will be implemented to defeat ISIS and the Taliban.