Published: Sun, August 18, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Dozens killed during wedding celebrations in Afghanistan

Dozens killed during wedding celebrations in Afghanistan

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but both the Taliban and a local ISIS affiliate carry out bloody attacks in the capital.

No group had taken responsibility for the attack by Sunday morning.

Government spokesman Feroz Bashari said the blast was "a clear sign that terrorists can't see Afghans express happiness".

"Around 1,200 guests were invited to the wedding", said Ahmad Omid, a survivor who said the gathering was for his father's cousin.

Mujib Mashal, a senior correspondent for the New York Times, said his sources were telling him that at least 40 people were killed and more than 100 others were injured.

The explosion occurred in a Shiite neighbourhood as people gathered to celebrate a wedding in the Dubai City wedding hall.

Under the expected deal, the Taliban, in exchange for a United States commitment on a withdrawal, would guarantee Afghanistan would not be a sanctuary for militants to expand and plot new attacks, both sides have said.

Outside the hall people were searching for relatives and broken glass covered the ground, Jennifer Glasse reports for NPR from Kabul. Ten days ago a Taliban vehicle bomb aimed at Afghan security forces ripped through a busy west Kabul neighborhood in the same district, killing 14 people and wounding 145.

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"This heinous and inhumane attack is indeed a crime against humanity", Afghanistan's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said.

The blast happened in western Kabul, a predominantly Shia locality.

The attack came as the Taliban and the United States are trying to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with Afghanistan's US-backed government.

On August 16, the Afghan Taliban leader's brother was killed in Pakistan from a bomb explosion inside a Mosque.

A man cleans an area next to a pile of shoes and sandals of victims outside a wedding hall after a deadly bomb blast in Kabul.

However, a spokesman for Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani suggested it was a suicide attack.

The Afghan government has been sidelined from those discussions, and presidential spokesman Mr Seddiqi on Saturday said his government was waiting to hear results of President Donald Trump's meeting on Friday with his national security team about the negotiations.

"Several of our waiters were killed or wounded", he added.

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