The Islamic State group's affiliate in Afghanistan, known as ISIS-K, quickly claimed responsibility for the deadly attack at a Shiite Muslim mosque in Kunduz on Friday. But in an even more brazen and rare move, it also provided a crucial detail about the attacker, specifying that the bomber was of the ethnicity that largely originates from China's restive Xinjiang Province. Beijing's attempts to stamp out violent extremists among its Uighur population has emerged as perhaps its most sensitive problem at home and nearby, as shown through the lengths it's willing to go to quash the threat it perceives.
The highly symbolic nature of the latest attack has raised new concerns in China that its partners on the ground in Kabul are not following through on promises they made, including to prevent organizations fighting for Uighur causes from finding safe haven in Afghanistan. And it has prompted worries in Beijing that elements of the new ruling government in fact may be trying to exploit its interests there to draw greater investment and involvement.