Kabul deadly blast: Islamic State claims responsibility for suicide bomb attacks

By on
A masked man speaking in what is believed to be a North American accent in a video that Islamic State militants released in September 2014
A masked man speaking in what is believed to be a North American accent in a video that Islamic State militants released in September 2014 is pictured in this still frame from video obtained by Reuters October 7, 2014. Reuters/FBI/Handout via Reuter

A suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan claimed the lives of 41 people and injured dozens three days after Christmas day. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the blast on a Shia cultural centre in Kabul, the country’s capital.

The attack was carried out by the terror group, the ISIS-affiliated Amaq News Agency said. Both the ISIS and the Taliban have reportedly carried out a number of attacks in Afghanistan this year, with the two groups fighting over territory, specifically in the east of the country. The blasts were earlier denied by the Taliban.

Kabul attack

Journalist Ehsanullah Amiri, who was at the scene when the attack happened, reported about a bomber infiltrating a crowd of under 100 people before detonating the device. People had gathered at the cultural centre for the anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The victims include university students and reporters.

A Health Ministry has stated that 84 people were injured in the attack. The death toll included two children.

The attack hit the Afghan News Agency, Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi confirmed. There were other attacks that followed in the same building but caused no injuries.

According to Amiri, police vehicles and ambulances brought the wounded, even the dead, to nearby hospitals as security forces cordoned off the site. The main road approaching the scene has been blocked. Onlookers have been warned to stay away from the location of the explosion, where there is also a Shia mosque.

Eliminate terrorist groups

As Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the deadly blast, he said the government is determined to get rid of terrorist groups. He took to Facebook to express his sentiments.

"Terrorists always hide their defeat against our security forces by attacking mosques, religious places, and educational institutions, and killing our people, including women and children," Ghani wrote on social media. He added that these groups and those who support them have to understand that they would not succeed carrying out such crimes.

The United States has been quick to assure that it “continues to stand with all Afghans in their pursuit of peace, security, and prosperity.”

"We remain confident the Afghan government and people, supported by their friends and partners, will defeat those behind these terrible acts,” US Ambassador to Afghanistan John R Bass said. The US has backed up the Afghan government in its fight against ISIS but has recently decreased the number of its troops.