The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a Saturday blast in Afghanistan's Balkh province in which one person was killed and eight others were injured, Afghanistan-based Khaama Press reported.
The Islamic State's Telegram account on Sunday claimed responsibility for the blast at a cultural centre during an event for journalists in northern Afghanistan's Mazar-e-Sharif, the capital city of the Balkh province.
Authorities and journalists have said that at least one person was killed and eight wounded in the attack. However, the Tebyan Cultural Centre, stated, "Three persons were killed, and 30 others, including journalists, were injured in the incident".
This was the second incident within three days in the Balkh province; the first was a suicide attack that killed the governor of Balk, Mullah Dawood Muzmal, according to Khaama Press. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for both incidents. IS-Khorasan is the main rival of the Taliban-led government, aiming to target Taliban officials, foreign citizens and people.
The group has recently intensified attacks on Afghanistan's Kabul, Herat and Balkh provinces. Although the Taliban claims the conflict has been finished in the country, the radical Islamic State of Khorasan and other militants have ferociously targeted Kabul city and other places, according to Khaama Press.
United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan Richard Bennett said the attack on journalists in Afghanistan's Mazar-e-Sharif is a blow to the freedom of expression, Khaama Press reported. Bennett said he is closely monitoring the attack on the gathering aimed at awarding journalists at Tebyan Cultural Center in Mazar-e-Sharif.
The UN Special Rapporteur emphasized the need for increased security measures for journalists in Afghanistan.