‘Every attack is a massacre’: Afghanistan’s Shiite minority increasingly targeted in their places of worship

Source: Los Angeles Times

Dozens of men gathered in a dust-blown graveyard Saturday to pay their last respects to 83-year-old Karbalai Mohammad Anwar Noori, one of at least 50 people killed in a suicide bombing the night before at a nearby mosque in western Kabul.

As Noori’s sons and nephews fought back tears, a tall, turbaned cleric stood above the mound of freshly turned dirt where the shroud-wrapped body was laid to rest. Speaking into a microphone, he invoked the words of Imam Jafar Sadiq, the sixth imam in Shiite Islam.

“Those who worship must be cautious and clever,” said the cleric, Abdulaziz Amiri. “It is not only up to the security forces to protect us. We must be prepared at all times and ready for any possible attack.”

Threats are increasing for Afghanistan’s Shiite Muslim minority, the targets of a spate of recent attacks that have highlighted the government’s inability to secure places of worship and added a troubling sectarian dimension to the country’s long-running conflict.

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