KABUL: A suicide attack targeted the gathering of a mass demonstration in capital Kabul leaving at least 61 people dead.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) officials confirmed the death toll and said at least 207 others have sustained injuries in the attack.
The incident has taken place in Deh Mazang area where the demonstrators had gathered for a sit-in protest.
There are also reports that a group of three suicide bombers were looking to target the rally participants.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group claimed responsibility behind the horrific attack and said the group targeted a Shiite gathering in the city.
This is the first time the terror group has claimed responsibility behind a large attack in capital Kabul as the loyalists of the terror group have been attempting to expand terrorist activities in Afghanistan.
In the meantime, the Afghan security forces have launched a major operation to root out the loyalists of the terror group in eastern Nangarhar province from where they initially launched their operations.
Ghani deeply saddened by attack on demonstration in Kabul
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has said he is deeply saddened by a deadly attack targeting the rally participants in Kabul city this afternoon.
The Office of the President in a statement said “The President of Afghanistan has said organizing peaceful rallies is the right of every citizen of the country and the government uses all efforts to maintain security of the protesters but the opportunist terrorists infiltrated among the protesters and carried out explosions which led to the martyrdom of several citizens of the country as well as security personnel.”
The statement further added that several others have also sustained injuries and President Ghani has instructed all relevant institutions to assist those who have sustained injuries and shift them to proper hospitals, including the National Directorate of Security and Sardar Mohammad Dawood Khan hospital.
Taliban rejects hand in Kabul attack which left nearly 200 dead, wounded
The Taliban militants group has rejected hand in a deadly attack targeting the demonstration in Kabul city which left nearly 200 people dead or wounded.
The Taliban group spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the group has no link with the explosions in Kabul city, calling it a grim move to create divisions among the people.
Mujahid further added that the group condemns any move that lead to creation of divisions, including ethnic and religious divisions among the people of Afghanistan.
Without elaborating further Mujahid said the attack was carried out by the enemies. -KP
THE PASHTUN TIMES