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IS bomber kills 63, injures over 180 at Kabul wedding

IS bomber kills 63, injures  over 180 at Kabul wedding

AFP
Kabul
Joy and celebration turned into horror and carnage when an Islamic State (IS) suicide bomber targeted a packed Afghan wedding hall, killing at least 63 people in the deadliest attack to rock Kabul in months, officials and witnesses said on Sunday.
The massive blast, which took place late on Saturday in west Kabul, underscores both the inadequacy of Afghanistan’s security forces and the scale of the problem they face as Washington and the Taliban finalise a deal to reduce the US military presence in Afghanistan and hopefully build a roadmap to a ceasefire.
The groom recalled greeting smiling guests in the afternoon, before seeing their bodies being carried out hours later.
The attack “changed my happiness to sorrow”, the young man, Mirwais, told local TV station Tolo News.
“My family, my bride are in shock, they cannot even speak. My bride keeps fainting,” he said.
“I lost my brother, I lost my friends, I lost my relatives. I will never see happiness in my life again.”
Interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said a suicide bomber carried out the attack, with at least 63 people killed and 182 injured. “Among the wounded are women and children,” Rahimi said.
Afghan weddings are epic and vibrant affairs, with hundreds or often thousands of guests celebrating for hours inside industrial-scale wedding halls where men are usually segregated from women and children.
The wedding was largely a gathering of Shia Muslims, who frequently are targeted in Sunni-majority Afghanistan, particularly by IS.
The Sunni extremist group’s Afghan affiliate claimed responsibility for the blast, saying the bomber targeted the wedding because it was Shia.
Wedding guest Hameed Quresh told AFP the young bride and groom were saying their vows when the bomb went off.

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