Kabul wedding attack: Dozens feared dead after suicide bombing in Afghanistan

Zamira Rahim

Dozens of people have been killed or wounded in Afghanistan, after a suicide bomber attacked a wedding party.

More than 1,000 guests were at the wedding, leading to fears that it could be the deadliest attack in Kabul this year.

Interior ministry spokesman Nusrat Rahimi said there was no immediate information about the cause of the blast.

Both the Taliban and a local affiliate of the Islamic State group are known for carrying out brutal attacks in the city.

“Devastated by the news of a suicide attack inside a wedding hall in Kabul,” a spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani said on Twitter.

“A heinous crime against our people; how is it possible to train a human and ask him to go and blow himself (up) inside a wedding?!!”

Officials are not expected to release a death toll until Sunday morning.

The blast occurred at the Dubai City wedding hall in western Kabul, which is home to many in the minority Shiite Hazara community.

“There are so many dead and wounded,” said Ahmad Omid, a survivor, who said about 1,200 guests had been invited to the ceremony.

“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.”

Outside a local hospital, families wailed. Others were covered in blood.

The devastating attack comes at a greatly uncertain time in Afghanistan, with the United States and the Taliban approaching a deal to end a nearly 18-year war in the country.

The conflict continues to take a horrific toll on civilians.

In 2018 more than 3,800 people including more than 900 children, were killed in Afghanistan by the Taliban, US and allied forces, the Islamic State affiliate and other actors, the United Nations said.

Additional reporting by agencies