The Islamic State group's Afghan branch has claimed responsibility for the wedding bombing in Kabul that killed at least 63 and wounded at least 183. The victims of the overnight suicide bombing at a packed wedding hall were mostly members of the minority Shi’ite Hazara community.
Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi confirmed the casualty toll in a statement issued early Sunday, saying women and children were among the victims.
Map of Kabul Dubai Wedding Hall, Kabul, Afghanistan
The United Nations denounced the wedding hall bombing as an “atrocious” act against Afghan Shi’ites, saying it has documented several previous attacks aimed at the community. “An attack deliberately targeting civilians is an outrage, and deeply troubling, as it can only be described as a cowardly act of terror,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the head of the U.N. Assistance mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
U.S. ambassador to Kabul John Bass in a tweet condemned the carnage as an act of "extreme depravity."
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the overnight attack as an “inhumane” act, saying he has summoned an “extraordinary” security meeting to review and prevent such security lapses. The attack was one of the worst against Afghan civilians in recent years.
The Taliban condemned the bombing. A spokesman for the insurgent group said “such barbaric deliberate attacks against civilians including women and children are forbidden and unjustifiable.”
“Taliban cannot absolve themselves of blame, for they provide platform for terrorists,” Ghani noted in his statement issued Sunday. Survivors said hundreds of guests were inside the hall when the blast occurred.
“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,” said Ahmad Omid.
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