Death toll rises after suicide bomb attack on voter registration centre in Kabul

2018-04-23 06:27
Afghans search ID papers and photos of their relatives on the ground outside a voter registration center after being attacked by a suicide bomber in Kabul. (Rahmat Gul, AP)

Afghans search ID papers and photos of their relatives on the ground outside a voter registration center after being attacked by a suicide bomber in Kabul. (Rahmat Gul, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kabul - An Islamic State suicide bomber attacked a voter registration centre in Afghanistan's capital on Sunday, killing 57 people and wounding more than 100 others, officials said.

Public Health Ministry spokesperson Wahid Majro said that among 57 people killed, 22 were women and eight were children. He said 119 people were wounded, among them 17 children and 52 women, and "the tolls could still rise".

The bomber targeted civilians who were registering for national identification cards, Kabul police chief General Daud Amin said.

The large explosion echoed across the city, shattering windows miles from the attack site and damaging nearby vehicles. Police blocked all roads to the blast site, with only ambulances allowed in. TV stations broadcast live footage of hundreds of distraught locals gathered at hospitals seeking word about loved ones.

READ: Suicide attack on Kabul voter registration centre

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement carried by its Aamaq news agency, saying it had targeted Shiite "apostates".

The attack comes almost a month after an IS suicide bomber carried out an attack near a Shi'ite shrine in Kabul that targeted attendees celebrating the Persian new year. That attack killed 31 people and wounded 65 others.

Elections

In a statement issued by the president's office condemned on Sunday's attack and quoted President Ashraf Ghani as saying such "terrorist attacks" won't prevent people from participating in upcoming parliamentary elections.

Afghanistan will hold parliamentary elections in October and voter registration started a week ago.

Last week, three police officers guarding voter registration centres in two Afghan provinces were killed by militants, according to authorities.

Afghan security forces have struggled to prevent attacks by the local Islamic State affiliate as well as the more firmly established Taliban since the US and NATO concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014. Both groups regularly carry out attacks, with the Taliban usually targeting the government and security forces and IS targeting the country's Shi'ite minority.

Both groups want to establish a strict form of Islamic rule in Afghanistan and are opposed to democratic elections.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attack and called for those responsible to be brought to justice, in a statement from his spokesperson in New York.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, at least five people were killed when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in the northern Baghlan province. Zabihullah Shuja, spokesperson for the provincial police chief, said four other people were wounded in Sunday's blast in Puli Khomri, the province's capital.

The Taliban routinely target security forces and government officials with roadside bombs, which often end up killing civilians.

In the northern Balkh province, a district police chief died of his wounds after being shot Saturday during an exchange of gunfire with insurgents, according to Sher Jan Durrani, spokesperson for the provincial police chief. He said around a dozen insurgents were also killed in the battle, which is still underway.

Durrani identified the slain commander as Halim Khanjar, police chief for the Char Bolak district.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the killing.

Read more on:    afghanistan  |  security

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.