In yet another terror attack in Kabul, twin explosions carried out by suicide bombers today killed 80 people and injured 231 others, according to the Afghanistan health ministry. “207 others have been wounded,” ministry spokesman Mohammad Ismail Kawoosi said. Kawoosi said the dead and the injured were taken to nearby hospitals. Reports said that ISIS claimed the responsibility for the twin blasts. The blasts took place in Deh Mazang area of the Afghan capital where thousands of protesters had gathered to protest against the route of a planned power line project. Khaama.com, an Afghanistan-based news organisation, reported that ISIS claimed the responsibility of the attack and “said the group targeted a Shiite gathering in the city.”
The blasts were carried out by two suicide bombers. Reuters reported that graphic television footage from the site of the blasts showed several bodies lying in the pool of blood on the road, near the gathering of thousands of protesting members of the Shia Hazara community. “Two fighters from Islamic State detonated explosive belts at a gathering of Shi’ites in the city of Kabul in Afghanistan,” said a brief statement on the group’s Amaq news agency.
— SITE Intel Group (@siteintelgroup) July 23, 2016
Here are all updates of the suicide attacks
12.56 am: Pakistan foreign office says in a statement: “Pakistan strongly condemns the dastardly terrorist acts in Kabul”. “The government and the people of Pakistan extend their sincere condolences and profound sympathies to the families of the bereaved people and convey their earnest prayers and wishes for early recovery of those injured in this heinous act of terrorism,” it said.
12.01 am: Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry has issued a ban on public gatherings of all types for the next 10 days.
11.40 pm: Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a message to Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani expressing readiness to fight all forms of terrorism together in the most active way after Saturday’s bomb blasts in Kabul, Russian media cited the Kremlin as saying. “The head of the Russian state strongly condemned this cynical crime committed against peaceful citizens and reiterated readiness to continue the most active cooperation with the authorities and people of Afghanistan in fighting all forms of terrorism,” Russian media quoted a Kremlin statement as saying.
Sunni extremists killed 80 & wounded 231 Shia in Afghanistan. Shia will kill some Sunni elsewhere. Hate rules supreme.
— taslima nasreen (@taslimanasreen) July 23, 2016
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) July 23, 2016
9.50 pm: The U.S. State Department condems the attack at a demonstration in Kabul and offers Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani assistance in investigating the incident. “The killers responsible for this bloodshed do not represent the future for Afghanistan and will not prevail. Attacks like these only strengthen our resolve to continue our mission in Afghanistan and deepen our support for the people and government there,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby in a statement.
9.45 pm: President Pranab Mukherjee expresses his condolences on the loss of lives in today’s attacks in Kabul. Several Indian leaders including PM Narendra Modi and Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi have condemned the terror attacks in Kabul.
Heartfelt condolences on the loss of lives in the blast which hit Deh Mazang square in Kabul, Afghanistan today #PresidentMukherjee
— President of India (@RashtrapatiBhvn) July 23, 2016
Strongly condemn the terror attack in Kabul.My heart goes out to the ppl of Afghanistan &the families of the victims of this horrific attack
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) July 23, 2016
My prayers goes out to the innocent people killed in #Kabul attack . I strongly condemn such cowardly act.
— Ram Vilas Paswan (@irvpaswan) July 23, 2016
9.30 pm: Acording to the Afghan Interior Ministry, the death toll in bomb attacks have gone upto on Kabul protest rises to 80, 231 people wounded, say reports.
Update# now scenes of today’s Kabul attack pic.twitter.com/cj5Q7w3K3x
— Hamid haideri (@Hamidhaideri) July 23, 2016
19.50: Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemns the attacks, says “India stands with Afghanistan in resolutely opposing all forms of terrorism.”
India stands with Afghanistan in resolutely opposing all forms of terrorism.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 23, 2016
19.44: Aghanistan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has condemned the twin explosions in Kabul. Ghani has asked all government institutions to provide all possible help to the injured people. In a statement, the Afghan President condemned the attcak on peaceful protesters, saying “Peaceful demonstration was the right of every citizen,” reports Pajhwok.com.
19.38: Several pictures of the blast site are being shared by users on the social media. The attack has shaken the entire country.
— DirectViews (@RaptorsUniverse) July 23, 2016
— EMERGENCY (@emergency_ong) July 23, 2016
19.24: NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan has condemned the horrific attack. One of the suicide bombers was shot by police. Three security personnel were also killed in the blast.
19.19: Reports say this is the first big suicide attack in Afghanistan for which the ISIS has claimed responsibility. If confirmed as the work of Islamic State, the attack would represent a major escalation for a group which has hitherto been largely confined to the eastern province of Nangarhar. The attack succeeded despite tight security which saw much of the city centre sealed off with stacks of shipping containers and other obstacles and helicopters patrolling overhead.
The Taliban, a fierce enemy of Islamic State, denied any involvement and said in a statement posted on its website that the attack was “a plot to ignite civil war”.
— khadija omari (@khadijaomari) July 23, 2016
19.17: The Afghanistan government had received intelligence that an attack could take place, and had warned the march organisers. AP reports quoting Haroon Chakhansuri, a spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, “We had intelligence over recent days and it was shared with the demonstration organizers, we shared our concerns
because we knew that terrorists wanted to bring sectarianism to our community.”
(With agency inputs)