Afghanistan: Bomb kills 63 at wedding in Kabul

Kabul a bomb exploded at a wedding hall killing 63 people and wounding more than 180.The Islamic State (IS) group said it was behind for the attack.The blast happened on Saturday during a wedding ceremony at around 22:40 local time (18.10 GMT).President Ashraf Ghani has condemned the attack, describing it as “barbaric”. He blamed the Taliban for “providing a platform to terrorists.”The Taliban has denied involvement and condemned the attack.

An IS statement said that one of its fighters blew himself up at a “large gathering” while others “detonated a parked explosives-laden vehicle” when emergency services arrived.The Afghan interior ministry confirmed the death toll hours later. Pictures on social media showed bodies strewn across the wedding hall amid overturned chairs and tables.Afghan weddings often include hundreds of guests who gather in large halls where the men are usually segregated from the women and children.

The groom who gave his name as Mirwais told local TV: “My family, my bride are in shock, they cannot even speak. My bride keeps fainting.”I lost my brother, I lost my friends, I lost my relatives. I will never see happiness in my life again.””I can’t go to the funerals, I feel very weak … I know that this won’t be the last suffering for Afghans, the suffering will continue,” he said.

The bride’s father told local media that 14 members of his family were killed in the attack.Wedding guest Mohammad Farhag said he had been in the women’s section when he heard a huge explosion in the men’s area. “Everyone ran outside shouting and crying,” he told AFP news agency.

“For about 20 minutes the hall was full of smoke. Almost everyone in the men’s section is either dead or wounded.”A waiter at the hall, Sayed Agha Shah, said “everybody was running” after the blast.”Several of our waiters were killed or wounded,” he added.

I strongly condemn the inhumane attack on the wedding hall in Kabul last night. My top priority for now is to reach out to the families of victims of this barbaric attack. On behalf of the nation I send my heartfelt condolences to the families of those who were martyred.(Ashraf Ghani)
“There is no justification for such deliberate and brutal killings and targeting of women and children,” Zabiullah Mujaheed said in a text message to the media.

The latest blast comes just 10 days after a huge bomb outside a Kabul police station killed at least 14 people and injured nearly 150.The Taliban said they carried out that attack.On Friday a brother of Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada was killed by a bomb planted in a mosque near the Pakistani city of Quetta.No group has so far claimed that attack.

The Taliban now control more territory than at any point since they were forced from power in 2001.