At least 63 people died and 182 were injured in an explosion at at wedding in Afghanistan capital Kabul late on Saturday, AFP reported. The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.
The group said its bomber was able to infiltrate into the reception area and denote the explosives in a crowd of what it described as “infidels”, according to Reuters.
Earlier, the Taliban had denied it was behind the attack, and its spokesperson condemned the incident. The attack came amid peace talks between the United States and Taliban. On Friday, US President Donald Trump had tweeted on completing a “very good meeting” and that many were “looking to make a deal - if possible”.
The toll is the highest in any attack in recent months and was confirmed by the spokesperson of the interior ministry, AFP reported.
“For about 20 minutes the hall was full of smoke,” a wedding guest and witness to the blast Mohammad Farhag told AFP. “Almost everyone in the men’s section is either dead or wounded. Now, two hours after the blast, they are still taking bodies out of the hall.”
Earlier in August, 14 people died and 145 were injured in the same district after a suicide attack near the gate of the police headquarters. The Taliban had claimed responsibility for the explosion.
According to the United Nations, more than 1,500 civilians were killed or wounded in the Afghan conflict in July alone. This is the highest monthly toll so far in 2019 and the worst single month since May 2017.