Fri, Dec 29, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Scores killed in IS-claimed attack

AFP, KABUL

An Afghan man runs away as dust blows in the aftermath of the third blast at a Shiite cultural centre in Kabul yesterday.

Photo: AFP

At least 41 people were killed and 84 were wounded yesterday in a suicide blast targeting Shiites in Kabul, officials said, with chaotic scenes at the city’s hospitals as anguished families sought loved ones.

The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the gruesome assault, which happened in the same building as the Afghan Voice Agency’s offices, a media outlet which earlier reports had suggested could have been the target.

Afghanistan Ministry of Interior Affairs deputy spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said the attack — the deadliest since a Shiite mosque bombing in October that killed more than 50 worshipers — was aimed at the Tabayan cultural center.

“The suicide attacker detonated himself during a gathering at Tabayan cultural center causing a lot of casualties,” Rahimi said.

The main explosion was followed by two smaller blasts as people were leaving the scene.

The gathering was organized to mark the 38th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Rahimi said.

More than 100 people were at the event in the building’s basement, an Afghan Voice Agency journalist said.

There were chaotic scenes at Istiqlal Hospital where ambulances and police pickups brought victims, including women and children.

Many of them had suffered severe burns to their faces and bodies, as well as shrapnel wounds, reporters said.

Visibly distressed relatives searching for their loved ones inside the medical facility slapped their heads as they cried and cursed the government for being unable to end the regular carnage on their streets.

More than a dozen badly burned bodies lay on the floor in a room inside the hospital and wooden coffins were being delivered so families could take away the bodies of their loved ones, reporters said.

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