Sources in the Jibrail area of Herat said that at least six individuals from the Hazara community, comprising two clerics and two women, were tragically killed in an attack by unidentified armed assailants.
The incident, which also left three others injured, occurred around 2 PM on Friday. These individuals were ambushed while returning from a religious ceremony in the Khoshrud area of Injil district.
The attackers reportedly halted the victims' vehicle before opening fire. Among the deceased were participants in a ceremony for Eid Mohammad Etimadi, a religious scholar who himself was a victim of a similar attack on October 22.
This latest attack is part of a disturbing trend of increased violence against the Hazara community and Shia Muslims in Afghanistan. On November 23, Rajab Akhlaqi and Khadim Hussain Hedayati, members of the Herat Shia Ulema Council, were killed in a similar manner by motorcycle-riding gunmen in Jibrail. Both were originally from Lal wa Sarjangal districts in Ghor province.
The escalating attacks on Shiites and Hazaras have sparked widespread concern. Richard Bennett, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights for Afghanistan, has called for a thorough and independent investigation into these assassinations, in line with international standards, and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.