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HEART: At least seven people were killed Friday when unidentified gunmen opened fire on a rickshaw carrying two Shia clerics in western Afghanistan, an official and residents said.

The official from Herat’s intelligence department told AFP the attack happened in the Kora Milli area of the city, adding seven people were killed and one wounded.

Locals said four women were among the dead and that both clerics were killed.

“They were returning home in a three-wheeler… when they were targeted by unknown gunmen with gunfire,” one resident told AFP.

“The target of this shooting was probably two religious scholars who were Shia,” he said.

Afghanistan’s Taliban sends new ambassador to Beijing

Shia are a minority in Afghanistan and are drawn mostly from the Hazara community, a frequent target of attacks by militants from the Islamic State (IS) group, who consider them heretics.

Violence has reduced dramatically since the Taliban ended their insurgency after seizing power in August 2021, but a number of armed groups – including the regional chapter of IS – remain a threat.

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