News Alerts

25 Aug 2020 | 03:34 PM UTC

Afghanistan: Increased security likely during Ashura events August 28-29

Afghanistan News Alert

Heightened security posture likely during Ashura events on August 28 and 29 due to risk of targeted attacks; maintain heightened vigilance and avoid demonstrations

TIMEFRAME expected from 8/25/2020, 12:00 AM until 8/31/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Kabul). COUNTRY/REGION Afghanistan


A heightened security presence is likely in towns and cities across Afghanistan on Friday, August 28, and Saturday, August 29, as various groups hold Ashura events. Thousands of people from the country's Shia community are expected to gather for processions marking the event in Kabul and other cities on the Friday and Saturday, with significant disruptions likely around Shia mosques and other religious sites.

Militant groups, particularly Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), have repeatedly targeted Ashura events in Afghanistan in the past and gatherings present a high-profile target for sectarian violence. Previous attacks have included roadside improvised explosive devices (IEDs) along procession routes and suicide bombings inside Shia mosques, as well as attacks on informal public gatherings.

Significant disruptions are likely in many areas of the country on August 28 and 29 due to Ashura events and associated security deployments.  


Those in Afghanistan are advised to avoid all Ashura gatherings and should minimize non-essential movement on Friday and Saturday due to the increased risk of attacks.

The security environment in Afghanistan remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.


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