A suicide bomb attack at a wedding in Kabul killed 63 people and wounded 182 on Saturday, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry of Afghanistan said.
Among the victims were women and children, spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said. About 20 people were taken to a Kabul hospital run by the Italian NGO Emergency, the organization said.
“We were planning to sleep when we heard the sound of a loud explosion,” a witness who lives near the place and declined to be identified told CNN.
“When I left, I saw smoke coming out of the hall. I saw bodies and wounded, who were taken to hospitals by police and ambulances from Kabul. We are too shocked, too upset about the incident.”
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. He said a Pakistani fighter detonated an explosive vest in the middle of a large gathering of Shiite Muslims, the SITE Intelligence Group reported, which monitors the activities of terrorist groups.
The terrorist group also said that a car bomb attack followed the initial attack, SITE added.
The president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, condemned the attack and said that despite the denials of responsibility of the Taliban, they still shared some of the blame because “it provides a platform for terrorists.”
“My top priority for now is to reach the families of the victims of this brutal attack,” Ghani said on Twitter.
He added that in response to the attack, he had “called an extraordinary security meeting to review and prevent such security failures.”
The place is in western Kabul, an area where many of the Hai’ite Shi’ite minorities of Afghanistan live. It is also near Darul Aman Palace, where President Ashraf Ghani is expected to celebrate Afghanistan’s Independence Day on Monday.
Earlier this month, 14 people died and 145 were injured in the same district when three suicide bombers detonated an improvised explosive device at the door of the police headquarters.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on August 7, even when the terrorist group negotiates a peace plan with Washington.
Yolonda Kerr is a general assignment reporter at The Grand Newsstand. She has covered sports, entertainment and many other beats in her journalism career, and has lived in San Francisco for more than 8 years. Yolonda has appeared periodically on national television shows and has been published in (among others) NPR, Politico, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Wired.com, Vice and Salon.com.