At least 43 killed in Kabul blast near wedding hall – Afghan ministry
The blast took place as attendees gathered to celebrate Eid Milad, an Islamic holiday marking the birthday of the prophet Mohammed.
#KabulExplosion – Dozens of ambulances rushed to the scene of tonight’s deadly bombing at a major wedding hall in the city center. Health officials said early indications are that over 40 people have been killed and dozens more wounded #Afghanistanpic.twitter.com/YrTagLtPo6— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) November 20, 2018
More than 80 other people were injured in the explosion, officials say. A ministry spokesman told Afghan news network Tolo News that the blast was a suicide bombing.
Wedding halls are popular targets for militants in Afghanistan. Last November, a suicide bomber killed over 14 people when he detonated himself outside a Kabul wedding hall, as supporters of a local governor gathered for a political event inside.
While no militant group has yet taken responsibility, Monday’s blast comes as Afghanistan’s ongoing 17-year conflict tips in favor of the Taliban.
NATO’s Resolute Support commander, Gen. Austin Scott Miller, told NBC News this month that the Taliban more than likely will not be defeated, and that the country needs a “political solution.”
At least 40 people have been killed & 80 injured in a suicide bomb attack in an hour ago on a hall in the #Afghan capital, #Kabul. 1,000 people were in the hall at the time, the gathering was to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. #lkapic.twitter.com/vBmj97QuxR— JBC Breaking News™ (@JBCBreaking) November 20, 2018
The crowd targeted on Monday was primarily made up of religious scholars and clerics, a ministry spokesman said. The Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorist group has previously targeted “tyrant clerics” who side with the country’s US-backed government.
The group carried out a suicide bombing at a gathering of such clerics in June, killing at least seven people.
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