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Afghanistan: Kabul wedding hall blast kills 43, Afghan officials say

Tuesday 20 November 2018, by siawi3


Kabul wedding hall blast kills 43, Afghan officials say

By Ehsan Popalzai and Bianca Britton,

Updated 1629 GMT (0029 HKT) November 20, 2018

Photo: Afghan health workers carry an injured person outside the Emergency hospital after a suspected suicide attacker targeted a wedding hall, in Kabul.

Kabul (CNN)
A suicide bombing at a wedding hall in the Afghan capital has killed at least 43 people and injured scores more, officials said, in one of the deadliest attacks to hit the city this year.

The blast ripped through a venue near Kabul’s international airport, where a gathering of religious scholars was taking place, the Afghan interior ministry said. The attack took place at around 6:15 p.m. local time. At least 82 people were injured, the health ministry reported.

Photo: Afghan religious scholars wait outside the emergency hospital after a suicide bomber targeted a religious gathering at a wedding hall in Kabul.

The blast was carried out by a suicide bomber, according to Najib Danish, spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of the Interior. The gathering was being held to mark the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed, he said.

No claim of responsibility has yet been made.

Photo: An injured men receives treatment at a hospital after the suicide bombing in Kabul.

Despite diplomatic efforts to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan, the security situation in the country has deteriorated sharply in recent months.
In August, at least 34 people were killed in an attack which targeted an education center. Among the victims were thought to be dozens of teenagers studying English.

Then in September, 20 people, including two journalists, were killed in twin bomb attacks on a wrestling club for which ISIS claimed responsibility. The second blast was detonated after emergency services, journalists and police arrived at the scene.

Photo: A man injured in the suicide bombing in Kabul is brought into a hospital.

In July, a UN report said the number of Afghan civilians killed in the first six months of 2018 had reached a record high. Almost 1,700 civilians were killed from January 1 to June 30, a total higher than at any comparable time over the last 10 years, according to the UN. Kabul was one of the most dangerous places in Afghanistan for civilians, the report said.