The story comes from DAWN.
Gunmen kill nine Hazaras in Afghanistan
KUNDUZ: Gunmen killed nine Shia Hazara miners in the northern Afghan province of Baghlan on Friday, in the latest attack against ethnic minorities.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the killings in the remote district of Tala Wa Barfak, but the government blamed the militant Islamic State group, which is making steady inroads into Afghanistan.
“Nine coalminers were killed by unknown gunmen in Tala wa Barfak. They were heading home when their vehicle were stopped by gunmen,” district governor Faiz Mohammad Amiri said.
The governor of central Bamiyan province, apparently where the coalminers were from, confirmed the incident.
The rise of the IS has raised the spectre of sectarian discord in Afghanistan, something that the country has largely been spared despite decades of war.
Until a few months ago IS was largely confined to the eastern province of Nangarhar bordering Pakistan. It is notorious for brutality in Nangarhar, including beheadings, despite a US-backed offensive against the group.
But the Afghan government said this week the group was steadily expanding into other provinces.
Around 2,000 Shias staged a protest in western Afghanistan on Tuesday against growing sectarian attacks by the group and demanded protection from the government.
Last year Afghanistan saw a wave of attacks on Shias claimed by IS.
At least 14 Shias were killed in October in a powerful blast at a mosque in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, hours after gunmen targeted Shia worshippers in a shrine in Kabul and killed 18 people.