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80 dead, scores hurt as blasts rip through Kabul rally

80 dead, scores hurt as blasts rip through Kabul rally

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Jul 23, 2016 - 15:28

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): At least 80 people were killed and 231 others wounded as twin explosions ripped through a mammoth rally staged by the Hazara minority in Kabul on Saturday, the Ministry of Public Healthinfo-icon (MoPH) said.

Mohammad Ismael Kawasi, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) spokesman, confirmed the casualties in the explosions that took place in the middle of the crowd at around 2:30 pm. Security forces cordoned off the site and no one was allowed to enter the area.

Luqman, one of the rally participants, told Pajhwok Afghan News the first explosion happened near the Barikot Cinema and the second followed in Demazang Square. He said a large number of people were wounded and evacuated to hospitals.

Dr. Mohammad Saber Naseb, Istiqlal Hospital director, said scores of wounded had been rought to the hospital and there was a possibility of more inured would being shifted to the facility.

A security official, who wished to go unnamed, revealed the explosions were probably suicide attacks. Some enraged protesters gathered after the explosions at around 3:30 and threw stones at security officials.

The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the deadly bombing of a protest march in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

A statement reported Saturday by the IS-Linked Aamaq online news agency said two IS militants detonated their explosive vests amid the crowds of minority ethnic Hazara demonstrators.

Hazaras are predominantly Shiite Muslims, and IS views all Shiites as apostates. Shortly before the IS statement, the Talibaninfo-icon's spokesman, however, deniedthe group involvement in the blast.

nh/mud

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