Uyghur Foreign Fighters: An Underexamined Jihadist Challenge | ICCT - 2017 |
Uyghurs, specifically individuals of Turkic decent from China's northwest province of Xinjiang, have become a noticeable part of the constellation of globally active jihadist terror groups. Uyghur jihadists first came to the world's attention when the United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001. While continuing their cooperation with the Taliban under the banner of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), Uyghur jihadists have now spread to Southeast Asia and the Middle East. ETIM's members are part of the Turkestan Islamic Party fighting with the Al-Qaeda umbrella group in Syria, but other Uyghurs have joined IS in Syria and Iraq, and still others have joined local terror groups in Indonesia.However, Uyghurs are currently underexamined as active participants in jihadist organisations.
At least 55 killed, scores injured in suicide attack at mosque in Afghanistan's Kunduz | Dawn News |
A suicide bomb attack on worshippers at a Shia mosque in the Afghan city of Kunduz killed at least 55 people on Friday, in the bloodiest assault since US forces left the country.
Scores more victims from the minority community were wounded in the blast, which has not been claimed but appears designed to further destabilise Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban takeover.
A medical source at the Kunduz Provincial Hospital said that 35 dead and more than 55 wounded had been taken there, while Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital said 20 were dead and scores more wounded.
Matiullah Rohani, director of culture and information in Kunduz for Afghanistan's new Taliban government, confirmed to AFP that the deadly incident was a suicide attack and that at least 46 people had died and 143 were wounded.
Bilal Karimi, a Taliban security official, added that targeting civilians was the "ultimate low". He said that the Islamic Emirate would not allow the criminals to go unpunished.
ISIS claims responsibility for deadly Afghan mosque attack
An Islamic State suicide bomber struck at a mosque packed with Shia Muslim worshippers in northern Afghanistan on Friday, killing at least 46 people and wounding dozens in the latest security challenge to the Taliban as they transition from insurgency to governance.
In its claim of responsibility, the region's ISIS affiliate (ISK-P) identified the bomber as a Uyghur Muslim, saying the attack targeted both Shias and the Taliban for their purported willingness to expel Uyghurs to meet demands from China. The statement was carried by the ISIS-linked Aamaq news agency.
The blast tore through a crowded mosque in the city of Kunduz during Friday noon prayers, the highlight of the Muslim religious week. It was the latest in a series of ISIS bombings and shootings that have targeted Afghanistan's new Taliban rulers, as well as religious institutions and minority Shias since U.S. and NATO troops left in August.
The blast blew out windows, charred the ceiling and scattered debris and twisted metal across the floor. Rescuers carried one body out on a stretcher and another in a blanket. Blood stains covered the front steps.
A resident of the area, Hussaindad Rezayee, said he rushed to the mosque when he heard the explosion, just as prayers started. "I came to look for my relatives, the mosque was full," he said.