60 dead, 160 injured in shrine attack
The bombing took place near the Abul Fazal Shrine in the second police district, where members of the Shiite sect were marking the martyrdom anniversary of Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS).
Brig. Gen. Mohammad Zahir, the Kabul police criminal investigation department head, told Pajhwok Afghan News they had received reports of 60 deaths and injuries to 160 others. He feared the fatalities could go up, because several injured people were in critical condition.
But Ministry of Public Health official Dr. Mohammad Kabir Amiri said 26 dead bodies and more than 100 wounded people were evacuated to different hospitals. "Several teams are working to ascertain an exact toll," he added.
Ministry spokesman, Mohammad Sakhi Kargar, said 14 bodies and 105 wounded people were brought to hospitals in the capital. A woman and two children were among the dead, he added.
The 101st Asmayee police zone spokesman, Hashmatullah Stanikzai, previously put the toll at 20 dead and 30 wounded. He also feared the fatalities could increase.
The bombing targeting the Shiites happened at 12:00pm. Participants of the mourning ceremony were busy flagellation themselves when the bomber struck, said Murtaza, giving a witness account. A large number of people were killed in the massive explosion, he said, without giving a figure.
Blood could be seen at the site, where the police and residents collected body parts, a Pajhwok reporter at the scene said. The bombing also shattered windowpanes in the shrine.
Sakhi Dad, a resident of the Karta-i-Khurasan area, said one brother was killed and another wounded in the blast. "The enemies of the country don't let us mourn," he said, with his eyes welling up.
Meanwhile President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the attack as a brazen act of the "enemies of Islam and Afghanistan".
"Followers of all religious sects have been living in a brotherly environment and whoever carry out such attacks are the enemies of the country," a statement from his office quoted Karzai as saying.
Currently in Germany, where he chaired a day-long conference on Afghanistan's future, said the enemies of Islam should realise that such cowardly acts would never divide Afghans. Karzai sympathised with the bereaved families.
No one had so far asserted responsibility for the bombing.
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