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Wednesday 24 October 2018

Dozens dead after suicide bomber strikes in Afghan capital

The large explosion echoed across the city, shattering windows miles away from the attack site and damaging several nearby vehicles.

The voter registration centre, which was attacked by a suicide bomber in Kabul (Rahmat Gul/AP)
The voter registration centre, which was attacked by a suicide bomber in Kabul (Rahmat Gul/AP)

By Rahim Faiez, Associated Press

A suicide bomber has struck at a voter registration centre in the Afghan capital, killing at least 48 people in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group.

Public Health Ministry spokesman Wahid Majro said another 112 people were wounded in Sunday’s attack in Kabul, updating an earlier toll.

Gen Daud Amin, the Kabul police chief, said the suicide bomber targeted civilians who had gathered to receive national identification cards.

The large explosion echoed across the city, shattering windows miles away from the attack site and damaging several nearby vehicles.

Police blocked all roads to the blast site, with only ambulances allowed in.

Local TV stations broadcast live footage of hundreds of distraught people gathered at nearby hospitals seeking word about loved ones.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility in a statement carried by its Aamaq news agency, saying it had targeted Shiite “apostates”.

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Blood-stained National ID papers and voters’ photos are seen on the ground (Rahmat Gul/AP)

Afghanistan will hold parliamentary elections in October.

Last week, three police officers responsible for guarding voter registration centres in two Afghan provinces were killed by militants, according to authorities.

Afghan security forces have struggled to prevent attacks by the Islamic State affiliate as well as the more firmly established Taliban since the US and Nato concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014.

Both groups regularly launch attacks, with the Taliban usually targeting the government and security forces, and IS targeting the country’s Shiite minority.

Both groups want to establish a harsh form of Islamic rule in Afghanistan, and are opposed to democratic elections.

Press Association

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