At least 40 dead in blast at a Shiite cultural centre in Kabul

At least 40 dead in blast at a Shiite cultural centre in Kabul

A suicide bomber blew himself up in a compound that houses Afghan Voice, a news agency and the Tebyan Shiite cultural centre, killing more than 40 people, including two children, and injuring more than 50 others.

“The target of the attack was the Tebyan cultural centre. A ceremony was being held to mark the 38thanniversary of Soviet invasion in Afghanistan when the explosion went off,” said deputy interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi.

Photographs sent by witnesses showed what appeared to be serious damage at the site and a number of dead and wounded on the ground in the latest violence to hit the Afghan capital.

Several smaller explosions, believed to be hand grenades and sticky bombs — magnetic devices that are attached to vehicles or other objects for later detonation — were also reported on Thursday morning.

“I saw eight police rangers putting injured and dead people in their vehicle like bricks,” said Mohammad Hakim, 19, who rushed to the scene because he has friends living nearby.

“I heard two large explosions a little after 10am and have been hearing ambulance sirens for the last two hours. This many ambulances mean the casualties are high,” Kabul resident Mustafa, 28, told The National. “Everyone here knows that the Shia mosques and cultural places are under threats from ISIS. This is the actions of the enemies of Islam.”

ISIL has indeed claimed responsibility for the attack.

At the police cordon, a woman stood crying and begging the security officials to let her in to the shattered building. “Her son was attending the event at the cultural centre. She was in tears and didn’t know if he had survived the attack,” Muhib Shadan, an eyewitness explained.

Read full story on The National UAE