#KabulAttack: 63 dead in bomb blast at wedding, 180 injured
At least 63 people have been killed and over 180 injured when a powerful bomb explosion ripped through a packed wedding hall in the Afghan capital of Kabul. Confirming the news, a spokesman for Afghanistan's Interior Ministry said the blast took place late on Saturday night. More than 1,000 people were present at the wedding party when the attack took place. Here's more.
Afghan Interior Ministry's spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said that the bomb blast took place at around 10:40 pm (local time) on Saturday at the Shahr-e-Dubai wedding hall in Kabul. A suicide bomber had detonated explosives during the wedding ceremony, reported BBC quoting witnesses. The attack took place in an area in western Kabul which is reportedly dominated by Shia Hazara Muslims.
"There are so many dead and wounded," said Ahmad Omid, one of the survivors of the attack. According to him, about 1,200 guests were invited to the wedding of his father's cousin. "I was with the groom in the other room when we heard the blast and then I couldn't find anyone. Everyone was lying all around the hall," he added.
"Devastated by the news of a suicide attack inside a wedding hall in Kabul," tweeted Sediq Seddiqi, a spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. "A heinous crime against our people; how is it possible to train a human and ask him to go and blow himself (up) inside a wedding?!!" he said in the Twitter post.
The Taliban and a local affiliate of the Islamic State terror organization have repeatedly carried out deadly attacks in Kabul. However, the Taliban has denied it was behind the latest attack while no other group has claimed responsibility so far. Sunni Muslim terrorists, including both these organizations, have targeted Shia Hazara minorities in Afghanistan and Pakistan a number of times in the past.
The latest attack, which could be the deadliest attack in the Afghan capital this year so far, comes more than a week after another deadly suicide bomb attack by Taliban in Kabul in which 14 people were killed and 145 were injured. Three suicide bombers had detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) at the gate of the police headquarters in Kabul.