A suicide bomb attack at a wedding hall in Afghan capital, Kabul on Saturday killed 63 people and wounded 182, the Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman said. Among the victims were women and children, spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said.
A suicide bomber who killed 63 and wounded 182 at a wedding reception in the Afghan capital Kabul last night was acting on behalf of ISIS, the state have claimed.
Women and children were among the casualties after the explosion at a west Kabul wedding hall, according to interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, which went off in the men’s reception area of a west Kabul wedding hall – and the Taliban have condemned the blast.
But President Ashraf Ghani said the militants could not escape blame for the ‘barbaric’ attack.
‘The Taliban cannot absolve themselves of blame for they provide platform for terrorists,’ he said on Twitter.
Pictures on social media from the scene of the Kabul blast showed bodies strewn amid overturned tables and chairs at the wedding hall, with dark blood stains on the carpet.
And this morning the shoes of the victims have been piled up outside the venue, as relatives and friends of those who died say prayers ahead of their burials.
Resident Mohammad Hasan rushed to the scene after the blast rocked the neighbourhood.
‘I saw many women and children screaming and crying,’ he said.
Sunni Muslim militants including the Taliban and Islamic State have repeatedly attacked the Shi’ite Hazara minorities in Afghanistan and neighbouring Pakistan over the years.
The blast follows a bomb attack on a mosque in Pakistan on Friday that killed a brother of Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhundzada. No one claimed responsibility for that blast, which killed four people and wounded 20.
Wedding halls have become a big business in Kabul as the Afghan economy slowly picks up and families spend more on celebrations. Big, brightly lit halls now line some suburban streets of the city.
At least 40 people were killed in an explosion at a wedding hall in Kabul in November.
Three weeks ago, a Taliban suicide bomber killed 14 people and wounded 145, also in western Kabul, in an attack that the government said raised questions about the militants’ commitment to peace despite expectations of a deal with the US.
The US and Taliban insurgents have reported progress in talks on an agreement centered on a US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in exchange for a security guarantee from the Taliban.
The Taliban have been fighting to expel foreign forces and re-establish an Islamic state since they were ousted in October 2001, weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.
Both U.S. negotiators and the Taliban have reported progress after eight rounds of talks since late last year.
But some Afghans were sceptical about the effort, amid the carnage.
‘Peace with whom? With those who bomb our weddings, schools, universities, offices and houses?’ wrote Twitter user Rada Akba.
‘Selling out this land and its people to those killers is sick and inhuman. History won’t forget this.’
Taliban officials said on Saturday the killing of the brother of their leader in a bomb attack in Pakistan would not derail the talks with the United States aimed at securing their long-cherished goal of getting foreign troops out.
Taliban negotiators were preparing for what they hope will be a final round of talks, the officials said. No date for a new round has been set.
U.S. President Donald Trump has made no secret of his desire for a U.S. pullout from Afghanistan and an end to America’s longest war. Top U.S. national security advisers briefed Trump on Friday on the negotiations.
The Afghan government has not been involved in the talks because the militants refuse to deal with an administration they see as a US puppet.
There are concerns among Afghan officials and U.S. national security aides about the talks with fears Afghanistan could plunge into a new civil war that could see a return of Taliban rule and international militants finding a sanctuary.
Under the expected deal, the Taliban, in exchange for a U.S. commitment on a withdrawal, would guarantee Afghanistan would not be a sanctuary for militants to plot new attacks, both sides have said.
The Taliban are also expected to promise to open power-sharing talks with the government and agree to a ceasefire.
About 20,000 foreign troops, most of them American, are in Afghanistan as part of a US-led NATO mission to train, assist and advise Afghan forces.
Some US forces carry out counter-terrorism operations.
Shoes of the victims were left at the scene following the deadly explosion.
Authorities in Afghanistan on Sunday confirmed 63 deaths.
The car of the newly married couple is still parked outside the wedding hall after a deadly bomb blast that killed 63.
Policemen stood guard outside the wedding hall after the attack which killed 63 people and injured at least 182