40 killed in ISIL-claimed attack in Kabul

40 killed in ISIL-claimed attack in Kabul

Afghanistan's Interior Ministry says at least 40 people have been killed and 30 wounded by multiple bomb blasts at a Shi'ite cultural center in Kabul.

Some of those who lost their loved ones in the attack expressed outrage over the performance of government and accused them of incompetence.

It was unclear what militant group was behind the attack, and there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The attack, claimed by the Islamic State through its Amaq News Agency, struck the Tabayan center in a Shiite neighborhood, where hundreds of people had come to commemorate the December 1979 anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan by Soviet troops.

A Shia cultural organization was the target but the Afghan Voice news agency was also hit.

American and worldwide officials condemned the attack and reaffirmed their support for the government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, which has been struggling to contain rising violence, ethnic tensions and political unrest amid a protracted insurgency.

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The attack occurred during a morning panel discussion at the centre, many of those attending students, witnesses said.

Isis has launched several rounds of deadly bombings and shooting attacks in Kabul and other Afghan cities, predominantly targeting Shia Muslims, as well as assassinations across the country.

Deputy interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi told AFP that the main blast was followed by two smaller bomb explosions that did not cause any casualties, and that the death toll is not final and "might" go up. CNN reports nearly 100 people were at the cultural center at the time for the anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

He called them attacks against Islam and "all human values". He added: "The terrorists have killed our people".

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid issued statement on Twitter denying involvement.

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