ISIS claims massive bombing in Kabul
Isis | Suicide blast marks first time the terror group has targeted Afghanistan’s capital
by Leigh Jones
Posted 7/23/16, 01:09 pm
Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, today that killed 80 people and left 231 others wounded. It is one of the deadliest attacks in the country since the Taliban launched its insurgency in 2001 and the first time ISIS has attacked the country’s capital.
The bomber, who was wearing clothing packed with explosives, detonated himself in a crowd of ethnic Hazaras who had gathered to protest the route of a major power line, which is slated to go around their home province. They want access to the electricity grid.
Addressing the country on live television, President Ashraf Ghani declared Sunday a national day of mourning.
Because many of the survivors are critically injured, the death toll is expected to rise.
Government officials reportedly warned the protest organizers of credible threats against the march.
“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,” presidential spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri said.
Police say the carnage could have been much worse. Two suicide bombers targeted the march, but police shot one before he could detonate his device. Three security personnel are among the dead, and three city district police chiefs sustained injuries.
Ghani condemned the attack and voiced support for the people’s right to petition their government.
“Peaceful demonstrations are the right of every citizen of Afghanistan, and the government will do everything it can to provide them with security,” Ghani said.
Hazaras are an ethnic minority and mostly Shiite Muslims, who suffered extreme persecution under the Taliban. Although the radical Islamic group that held power in Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001 has waged a violent insurgency against the government in recent years, its spokesman disavowed any involvement in Saturday’s attack.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is the news editor for The World and Everything in It and reports on education for WORLD Digital.