At least 40 people were killed and dozens wounded on Thursday in an attack on a Shiite cultural center in Kabul. No armed group has claimed responsibility for the attack for the moment, committed three days after a suicide bomber blew up near an Afghan intelligence cell in the capital, causing six deaths.
The Taliban deny being involved in the attack on Thursday, which also affected the Afghan Voice Agency, a media outlet located nearby. “The target of the attack was the Tabayan cultural center, a ceremony was held to mark the 38th anniversary of the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan when there was a (first) explosion,” Deputy Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi told AFP.
The explosion was followed by two others, less powerful, which caused no casualties, he added. “There are 40 dead, 30 injured, it is not the final report, which can still increase,” the spokesman said.
Health Minister Ghulam Mohamad Paikan, on the Tolo television network, reported “35 martyrs and 20 others injured”, “all of them civilians” who died as a result of “burns” caused by the attack.
“It was chaos, everyone was screaming and crying, people were in panic, everyone was asking for help,” he said.
According to him, the victims include women and children. In the photographs posted on Facebook page, the Afghan Voice Agency shows his yard full of rubble and half a dozen bodies on the ground, one of them bloodied.
The Ministry of Health gave an initial assessment of four deaths and one hospital confirmed that it had received 18 people injured. “Five of them are in critical condition and our doctors are trying to save their lives,” said Sabir Nasib, director of the Istiqlal hospital.
This is the latest in a long list of attacks in Kabul, one of the most dangerous cities in the country.
On May 31, a truck bomb killed 150 people and wounded about 400. The jihadist Islamic State group, which claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack on the intelligence services, recently committed several attacks in Afghanistan, especially against the Shiite minority, in Kabul.
The Taliban also often attack the security forces.