ISIL attack on Shi’ite protest rally in Kabul kills at least 80

by WorldTribune Staff, July 24, 2016

Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) on July 23 targeted a Shi’ite protest rally in Kabul, Afghanistan with twin bombings that killed at least 80 people and wounded more than 230.

Thousands of Persian-speaking Hazara Shi’ites had been demonstrating against the route of a planned multi-million-dollar power line when two ISIL jihadists detonated explosives belts.

A victim's relative is overcome with grief at the site of the July 23 ISIL bombing in Kabul. /AFP
A victim’s relative is overcome with grief at the site of the July 23 ISIL bombing in Kabul. /AFP

The Hazara are Afghanistan’s third-largest minority group, making up about 9 percent of the country’s population. Thousands of Hazara were killed during the period of Taliban rule.

“We were holding a peaceful demonstration when I heard a bang and then everyone was escaping and yelling,” said Sabira Jan, a protester who witnessed the attack and saw bloodied bodies strewn across the ground. “There was no one to help.”

Afghanistan’s main intelligence agency, the National Directorate for Security (NDS), said the attack was planned by an individual named Abu Ali, an ISIL militant they said was based in Achin district in Nangarhar.

The attack was carried out even though Afghan security forces had sealed off the Kabul city center with stacks of shipping containers and other obstacles and had helicopters patrolling overhead.

Meanwhile, as ISIL was carrying out yet another mass casualty attack, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was in Vienna exclaiming that air conditioners were as big of a threat to world security as the terrorist organization.

According to a report by The Washington Examiner, Kerry was in Vienna to amend the 1987 Montreal Protocol that would phase out hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, from basic household and commercial appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators, and inhalers.

“As we were working together on the challenge of [ISIS] and terrorism,” Kerry said. “It’s hard for some people to grasp it, but what we – you – are doing here right now is of equal importance because it has the ability to literally save life on the planet itself.”

Kerry said that most of the substances banned in the Montreal Protocol have increased the use of HFCs and claimed that the coolant was thousands of times more potent than CO2. He added that the increase of HFCs has led to alleged global climate change.

“The use of hydrofluorocarbons is unfortunately growing,” Kerry said. “Already, the HFCs used in refrigerators, air conditioners, and other items are emitting an entire gigaton of carbon dioxide-equivalent pollution into the atmosphere annually. Now, if that sounds like a lot, my friends, it’s because it is. It’s the equivalent to emissions from nearly 300 coal-fired power plants every single year.”