Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 20 September 2019

Afghanistan wedding blast death toll reaches 80

The initial figure was 63 following the blast in Kabul on Saturday

The death toll from a suicide bomb attack on a wedding reception in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, has risen to 80, two senior officials said on Wednesday.

Initially, the number of dead after the Saturday night blast was 63, but some of the wounded had died in hospital, said Nasrat Rahimi, a spokesman at the interior ministry.

“Seventeen others have succumbed to their injuries in hospital and over 160 are still being treated either in hospitals or at home,” Mr Rahimi said.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on a website linked to the extremist group on Sunday. It said the bombing was carried out by a Pakistani militant.

Afghan weddings are epic and vibrant affairs, with hundreds or often thousands of guests celebrating for hours inside huge wedding halls, in which men are usually segregated from women and children.

The explosion ripped through the Dubai City hall on the capital’s western edge, a mainly Shiite Hazara minority community, to which 1,200 people had been invited. In one mass funeral, 13 members of the same family were buried.

In an interview with Tolo News, the groom, Mirwais Elmi, 26, described the suffering after the attack.

“My family, my bride are in shock – they cannot even speak. My bride keeps fainting,” he said.

“I’ve lost hope. I lost my brother, I lost my friends, I lost my relatives. I will never see happiness in my life again.”

Further violence hit Afghanistan on Monday when explosions wounded 66 people in Jalalabad as the country celebrated its independence centenary.

In another attack, rockets were fired at independence day celebrations in the neighbouring province of Laghman, injuring six people.

Updated: August 21, 2019 02:22 PM

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