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Afghanistan: Bomb Disrupts Kabul Wedding



  Afghan healthcare workers move injured man to hospital after attack

A bomb has exploded in a wedding hall in the Afghan capital, Kabul, and many casualties are feared.

Witnesses told the BBC about a suicide bomber who blew explosives during a wedding ceremony. Witnesses said they saw bodies.

The blast occurred at approximately 1

0:40 pm local time (18/10 GMT) in an area populated mainly by Muslim Shiites.

No group has claimed to have carried out the attack that occurred in the western part of the city.

Sunni Muslim fighters, including the Taliban and the Islamic State group, have repeatedly targeted the Shi'a Khazar minorities in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

  • What can peace in Afghanistan look like?

The latest blast comes just 10 days after a huge bomb in front of a Kabul police station killed at least 14 people and injured nearly 150.

The Taliban said they carried out the attack.

On Friday, a brother of Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada was killed by a bomb planted in a mosque near the Pakistani city of Quetta.

So far no group has declared an attack.

A source in Afghan intelligence told the BBC that Hibatula Akhundzada should have attended prayers at the mosque and that was probably the purpose.

Tensions are high in the country, although it is reported that the Taliban and the US, which have thousands of troops stationed in Afghanistan, are getting closer to declaring a peace deal.

Copyright
EPA

Caption of images

Worried relatives gathered in front of a hospital in Kabul

What do we know that happened?

Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi confirmed that there were civilian casualties from the blast on Saturday, but said details were still being gathered.

Afghan weddings often involve hundreds of guests who gather in large halls where men are usually separated from women and children.

Wedding guest Mohamed Farhag said he was in the women's section when he heard a huge explosion in the men's area.

"Everyone ran outside, shouting and crying," he says.

"For about 20 minutes the hall was full of smoke. Almost everyone in the men's section was either dead or injured. Now, two hours after the blast, they are still removing bodies from the hall."

How peace talks progress ?

Taliban and US representatives hold peace talks in Qatar's capital, Doha, and both sides announce progress.

On Friday, US President Donald Trump tweeted that both parties "want a deal – if possible".

The deal will involve phasing out a US troop in exchange for guarantees from the Taliban that Afghanistan will not be used by extremist groups attack on American targets.

The Taliban will also begin negotiations with the Afghan delegation on a peace framework, including a possible ceasefire. The militants refuse to negotiate with the Afghan government until a timetable for US withdrawal is reached.

The Taliban now control more territory than at any time since being forced into power in 2001


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