Death Toll From Wedding Ceremony Attack In Kabul Climbs To 81 People - Health Ministry

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Death Toll From Wedding Ceremony Attack in Kabul Climbs to 81 People - Health Ministry

KABUL (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 22nd August, 2019) The number of people killed in an attack during a wedding ceremony in Afghanistan's capital of Kabul rose to 81, a spokesman for the country's Public Health Ministry told Sputnik on Thursday.

The attack rocked Kabul last Saturday. Earlier reports suggested that at least 63 people had been killed and more than 180 others had been injured in the terror act, reportedly claimed by the Islamic State terror group (banned in Russia).

"The casualties have risen and reached 81. The figures are accurate. Some of [those injured] which were not in good health condition lost their lives in the hospitals," Wahid Mayar said.

However, families of the victims suggest that the government is hiding the fact that the death toll is high.

"My son was martyred. I saw many people killed and every day more people are losing their lives. But the government lied. After this incident, we were not able to secure the security of our funeral ceremony," local resident Jawad told Sputnik.

He added that the funeral ceremony had been performed "with great fear," adding that still, people came to share grief with his family.

The attack has prompted a lot of people to put off their wedding ceremonies in Kabul hotels, where thousands of guests gathered daily before the terror act.

The government has not banned the ceremonies but owners of wedding halls and the public have security concerns in the wake of the attack.

"We were preparing for a nephew's wedding.

Shams came from Germany for a wedding. But after this incident, I informed the hotel and the wedding has been delayed," Mohammad Nadir, who comes from the eastern Logar province and currently lives in Kabul, told Sputnik.

He added that his family had decided to carry out the wedding in his village in Logar because security was not guaranteed for them in Kabul.

Similarly, many other people have postponed their weddings.

Samiullah, a resident of the Shahshahed area of Kabul, told Sputnik that his family had carried out a wedding at their home, where they were able to ensure the safety of their guests.

"We have not banned weddings in hotels. But people have stopped marrying in hotels. People are scared," Basir Mujahid, the spokesman for the Kabul police chief, told Sputnik.

Abdul Sami, the head of the hotels' association, confirmed to Sputnik that the government had not banned the weddings, but insisted that the authorities had sent out letters outlining security problems at the hotels, so clients did not feel safe there anymore.

"We have invested millions of Afghanis to build hotels but now we do not have income. There were two weddings in a week before the attack, paying at least one million Afghanis for one wedding and in Kabul we have 60-70 hotels," he added.

Notably, the government's perception of the Islamic State has also changed since the attack.

On Monday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani vowed to clear Afghanistan of the terrorist group.

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