80 Dead As IS Claims Twin Blasts During Kabul Protest
Faizan Hashmi 4 years ago Sat 23rd July 2016 | 09:12 PM
KABUL, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 23th july, 2016) - Islamic State group jihadists claimed responsibility for twin explosions Saturday that ripped through crowds of Shiite Hazaras in Kabul, killing at least 80 people and wounding 231 others in their first major attack in the Afghan capital. The bombings, apparently aimed at sowing sectarian discord in a country well known for Shia-Sunni harmony, came as thousands of Hazaras gathered to protest over a multi-million-dollar power line. Charred bodies and dismembered limbs littered the scene of the attack, with ambulances struggling to reach the site as authorities had overnight blocked key intersections with stacked shipping containers to control movement of the protesters.
"As a result of the attack 80 people were martyred and 231 others were wounded," the interior ministry said in a statement. "Based on initial information, the attack was carried out by three suicide bombers.
The third attacker was gunned down by security forces." The wounded overwhelmed city hospitals, officials said, with reports emerging of blood shortages and urgent appeals for donors circulating on social media. The Taliban, who are in the middle of their annual summer offensive and are more powerful than IS, strongly denied any involvement in the attack. IS claimed the bombings in a statement carried by its affiliated Amaq news agency, calling it an attack on Shiites.
"Two fighters of the Islamic State detonated their explosive belts in a gathering of Shiites in... Kabul," Amaq said. The attack represents a major escalation for the IS group, which so has largely been confined to the eastern province of Nangarhar. The National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan's main intelligence agency, said the attack was masterminded by Abu Ali, an IS commander in Nangarhar's volatile Achin district.