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Afghanistan: Kabul Bombing: ISIS Claims Attack That Kills Dozens In Afghanistan Election Center

Sunday 22 April 2018, by siawi3

Source: http://www.ibtimes.com/kabul-bombing-isis-claims-attack-kills-dozens-afghanistan-election-center-2674199

Kabul Bombing: ISIS Claims Attack That Kills Dozens In Afghanistan Election Center

By Pritha Paul

04/22/18 AT 6:23 AM

Video: 1:10

At Least 95 Killed By Ambulance Bombing In Afghanistan

A blast outside a voter registration center in Kabul, Afghanistan, ended up killing at least 31 people and wounding 51 others, Sunday. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack via its online news portal, Amaq.

According to a public health ministry official, the death toll is likely to rise, as ambulances evacuated dozens of wounded from the scene of the incident, which took place at 10 a.m. local time (1:30 a.m. EDT).

People were waiting in the queue outside the center, set up inside a school in the Dasht-e Barchi, an area in western Kabul, to get their Tazkira, or identification card, so they could vote in the upcoming election in October when a suicide bomber detonated explosives strapped to his body, Interior Ministry Spokesman Najeeb Danish told Voice Of America.

“I stand with those affected by this coward attack. Our resolve for fair and transparent election will continue and terrorists won’t win against the will of the Afghan people,” Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah tweeted condemning the attack.

Afghanistan Relatives of the victims carry an injured man outside a hospital after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, April 22, 2018. Photo: REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

The area where the blast took place is inhabited by many members of the mainly Shi’ite Hazara minority, which has been frequently targeted by attacks, eventually claimed by ISIS.

Taliban’s main spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, took to the social media following the attack to deny any involvement, although the insurgent group has been known to boycott the polls, and accuse the election of being stage-managed by the United States in an attempt of bringing a ruler of their choice into power, Reuters reported.

The bomber is believed to have approached the venue on foot. The blast also destroyed cars and shattered windows in nearby buildings, filling the neighboring streets with debris.

Afghanistan Relatives of the victims mourn at a hospital after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, April 22, 2018. Photo: REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Bashir Ahmad, who was nearby when the attack took place, said: “There were women, children. Everyone had come to get their identity cards.”

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani has been pressurized by international allies to hold the long-delayed elections this year, which would not be possible without completing the process of registering millions of voters, many of whom do not have national identity cards.

Unless the voter registration is completed before winter arrives this year, the election will be postponed until next year. Al Jazeera’s Abdullah Shahood, said the Afghan government has failed to secure the elections.

"Elections are scheduled to be held in many areas that are under Taliban control,” he said. "There is no chance that free polls could be held there, even as the government says it is trying to implement law and order there and allow people to vote and exercise their constitutional right," Shahood said.

ISIS has carried out a number of deadly attacks on civilians in Kabul and the rest of the country in the recent months. In fact, a recent U.S. report on ongoing violence in Afghanistan, stated that 2,260 civilians were killed in the first three months of 2018.