Dozens of people were killed when suicide bombers set off multiple explosions at a Shiite cultural center in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Thursday.
At least 41 people died and 84 were wounded when an unknown number of attackers set off an explosion outside the center in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood in the west of the city, authorities said. The militants stormed the two-story building before setting off other devices in the basement.
Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said scores of people had
The Islamic State, which has launched a number of attacks on Shiites across Afghanistan, claimed responsibility.
Shiite leader Abdul Hussain Ramazandada said according to witnesses, at least one suicide bomber sneaked into the event and sat with attendees before detonating his device. The other explosions occurred as people fled, he said.
Istiqlal Hospital director Mohammed Sabir Nasib said the emergency room was overwhelmed and that more than 50 doctors and nurses were working to save the wounded, the majority of whom suffered severe burns.
Mohammad Asif Mesbah, a senior member of the Shiite cleric council, told the Associated Press that the center may have been targeted because it also houses the pro-Iranian Afghan Voice news agency.
The agency’s owner, Sayed Eissa Hussaini Mazari is a strong proponent of Iran, a majority Shiite Muslim nation, and his publication is dominated by Iranian news.