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A Deadly Blast, 'Then I Couldn't Find Anyone'

ISIS claims suicide bombing at Kabul wedding that killed at least 63
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 18, 2019 6:09 AM CDT
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The damage of Dubai City wedding hall is seen after an explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug.18, 2019. A suicide-bomb blast ripped through a wedding party on a busy Saturday night.   (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
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(Newser) – The Islamic State group's affiliate in Afghanistan has claimed responsibility for the Kabul wedding blast that killed at least 63 on Saturday night. A statement by the militant group posted on an ISIS-linked website on Sunday says that a Pakistani ISIS fighter seeking martyrdom targeted a large Shiite gathering in Kabul. The ISIS affiliate claimed that after the suicide bombing, a car bomb was also detonated in the attack, though Afghan officials haven't confirmed this. Nearly 200 people were wounded in the blast in a western Kabul neighborhood that's home to many in the minority Shiites Hazara community. The Taliban have condemned the attack and denied any involvement. "Taliban cannot absolve themselves of blame, for they provide platform for terrorists," President Ashraf Ghani said Sunday on Twitter, declaring a day of mourning and calling the attack "inhumane."

The bomber detonated his explosives near the stage where musicians were playing and "all the youths, children and all the people who were there were killed," said eyewitness Gul Mohammad. Ahmad Omid, a survivor, said about 1,200 guests had been invited to the wedding of his father's cousin. "I was with the groom in the other room when we heard the blast and then I couldn't find anyone," he said. "Everyone was lying all around the hall." Amid the carnage were blood-covered chairs, crushed music speakers and a pile of abandoned shoes.ISIS has claimed responsibility for many deadly attacks against the Hazara community since the militant group emerged in Afghanistan in 2014, reports the AP. Frustration at the authorities has grown. "We want the government to stop arguing about power and act like a human being to bring peace to this country," says a wedding hall worker. (Read more ISIS stories.)

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