A suicide bombing targeted a gathering of Afghanistan's top clerics on Monday in Kabul, killing at least seven people and wounding nine, police say. Shortly before the attack, the clerics had issued a fatwa against suicide bombings and urged peace talks to end the Afghan war. Ghafor Aziz, police chief of Kabul's 5th District, says the blast was caused by a suicide bomber who detonated his explosives near the entrance of a compound where the religious body, known as the Afghan Ulema Council, was meeting on Monday, the AP reports. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Around 2,000 members of the council had gathered for the meeting of the Loya Jirga, or council of elders, at a traditional tent erected for the meeting.
The explosion struck as the gathering was ending and the participants were about to leave. Earlier Monday. the council issued an Islamic ruling, or a fatwa, declaring that suicide attacks are "haram"—forbidden under Islamic law. The council called on both the Afghan government forces and the Taliban and other militants to halt the fighting and agree on a ceasefire. It also called for peace negotiations between the two sides. It's the first time the council has issued such an appeal. Ghofranullah Murad, a member of the council, read out a written statement from the gathering that said innocent Afghan men, women, and children are the victims of war.
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