By: Monitoring Desk
At least 63 people have been martyred and scores wounded in an explosion targeting a wedding in the capital, according to officials, in the deadliest attack in Kabul this year.
The suicide blast took place on Saturday night in the men’s reception area of the Dubai City wedding hall in western Kabul, where people celebrating a marriage.
Women and children were among the casualties, said Nasrat Rahimi, a spokesman for the interior ministry.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) group claimed responsibility for the attack on Sunday.
The Taliban denied any involvement, calling Saturday’s blast “forbidden and unjustifiable”, but Afghan President Ghani said that the group “cannot absolve themselves of blame, for they provide [a] platform for terrorists”.
In a series of tweets on Sunday, President Ghani strongly condemned the “inhumane attack” and called for an “extraordinary security meeting to review and prevent such security lapses”.
The blast occurred near the stage where musicians were and “all the youths, children and all the people who were there were killed,” witness Gul Mohammad told The Associated Press news agency.
The groom, Mirwais Elmi, 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 told local TV station Tolo News.
“My family, my bride is 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.”
In the aftermath of the attack, images from inside the hall showed blood-stained bodies on the ground along with pieces of flesh and torn clothes, hats, sandals and bottles of mineral water. Meanwhile many regional and world countries, including the UN and other international organizations condemned the attack in Kabul. United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has strongly condemned Saturday’s terror attack on a wedding ceremony in Kabul. “The Secretary-General strongly condemns the horrific 17 August terrorist attack on a wedding ceremony in Kabul, claiming the lives of 63 people and injuring over 180,” a statement from UN agency said. “The Secretary-General expresses his deepest sympathies to the families of the victims and the Government and people of Afghanistan. He wishes a swift recovery to those injured.”
In another statement on Sunday, the Egypt foreign ministry said that their country stand by the Afghan government and people in its war against terrorism.
It also offered condolences to the victims’ families and wished the injured a speedy recovery.
The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, has also strongly condemned the suicide attack on a wedding celebration in Kabul. Dr. Al-Othaimeen reiterated the OIC’s firm rejection of such terrorist acts that have gripped Afghanistan in the past few weeks and wished for durable peace and stability for Afghanistan.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has sent a cable of condolences to President Mohammad Ghani following the terrorist bombing at a wedding in Kabul, which resulted in deaths and injuries.
The King said, “We have heard the news of the terrorist bombing at a wedding in the capital Kabul, and the resulting deaths and injuries. We express our sincere condolences and sincere sympathy on behalf of the people and government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Afghani people and we wish speedy recovery for the injured.”
Meanwhile, the inauguration of the iconic Darulaman Palace which was scheduled for Monday has been postponed after an overnight deadliest bombing in Kabul, a statement said on Sunday.
Syed Abdul Wahid Qatali, secretary of the committee in charge of arrangements for Afghanistan’s 100th Independence Day celebrations, in a statement said that the Sunday’s night incident was among painful events this land had been facing over the past 40 years.
The statement offered condolences over the loss of precious lives in the incident and the president had postponed the inauguration of Darulaman Palace indefinitely to pay homage and respect to the victims of Sunday night blast.