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SUICIDE BOMBER KILLS DOZENS AT GATHERING OF CLERICS IN KABUL

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A suicide bomb attack on a gathering of religious scholars in the Afghan capital, Kabul, has killed at least 43 people and at least 83 people were also wounded as the clerics met at the Uranus wedding hall, a large banqueting complex near the airport, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.

Some 1,000 people were said to be in the complex at the time of the explosion.

Basir Mujahid, a spokesman for Kabul police, said that “Islamic scholars and their followers had gathered to recite verses from the holy Koran to observe the Eid Milad-un-Nabi festival”.

The suicide bomber gained entry and headed for the centre of the gathering, where he detonated his explosives.

Religious studies lecturer Mohammad Hanif said there was a deafening explosion and “everyone in the halls was screaming for help”.

It is one of the deadliest attacks in Kabul in recent months.

No-one has yet admitted responsibility for the blast.

President Ashraf Ghani condemned the “terrorist attack”.

He declared Wednesday a day of national mourning, with the flag to be flown at half mast.

The UN mission in Afghanistan said it was outraged by the bombing:

Although no one as admitted responsibilities yet, speculations are pointing towards

The Islamic State in Afghanistan group, sometimes known as Islamic State Khorasan, has claimed responsibility for most of the recent deadly attacks of this kind.

It said it was behind two attacks in Kabul in August that killed dozens of people.

 

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