Afghan IS affiliate claims responsibility for bombing which killed over 60 persons killed and injured more than 180 injured during wedding (Update)

epa07778533 Afghan health workers carry a wounded child into the hospital after a suicide attacker exploded his explosive vest among a wedding ceremony in a wedding hall in Kabul, Afghanistan, 18 August 2019. According to reports at least dozens of people were killed and more than 80 others wounded. EPA-EFE/JAWAD JALALI

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Update via AP: The local Islamic State group’s affiliate claimed responsibility for what was the deadliest attack in Kabul this year.

Earlier: An Afghan official says an explosion has occurred at a wedding hall in western Kabul and casualties are feared.

AFP said over 60 were killed and 182 were injured. BBC quotes the interior ministry confirming number of deaths as 63.

Interior Ministry spokesman Nusrat Rahimi tells The Associated Press there is no immediate information on the cause of the blast, which occurred on a busy Saturday night.

“Devastated by the news of a suicide attack inside a wedding hall in Kabul,” Sediq Seddiqi, spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani, said in a Twitter post.

“A heinous crime against our people; how is it possible to train a human and ask him to go and blow himself [up] inside a wedding?!!”

The Taliban denied carrying out the attack, which happened in the west of the city.

Armed individuals and groups have periodically struck Afghan weddings, which are seen as “soft” targets with minimal security precautions.

Sunni Muslim militants, including the Taliban and the Islamic State group, have repeatedly targeted Shia Hazara minorities in Afghanistan and Pakistan

The explosion shattered more than a week of calm in the Afghan capital. Ten days ago a Taliban car bomb aimed at Afghan security forces ripped through a busy west Kabul neighborhood, killing 14 people and wounding 145 — most of them women, children and other civilians.

Via AP / Al Jazeera

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