Afghanistan Suicide Blast: 63 Killed, 182 Wounded In Kabul Wedding Blast, Says Official
Interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi provided the toll, which is the highest in Kabul in recent months.
The blast, which took place late Saturday in west Kabul, came as Washington and the Taliban are in the final stages of a deal to reduce the US military presence in Afghanistan. The Taliban denied any involvement in the attack.
Afghan weddings are epic and vibrant affairs, with hundreds or often thousands of guests celebrating inside industrial-scale wedding halls where the men are usually segregated from the women and children. Kabul's huge, brightly lit wedding halls are centers of community life in a city weary of decades of war, with thousands of dollars spent on a single evening. One of the wounded, Mohammad Toofan, said that "a lot of guests were martyred." "Devastated by the news of a suicide attack inside a wedding hall in Kabul. A heinous crime against our people; how is it possible to train a human and ask him to go and blow himself (up) inside a wedding?!!" Sediq Seddiqi, spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani, said in a Twitter post.
Mohammad Farhag, who had been at the wedding, told AFP he had been in the women's section when he heard a huge blast in the men's area. "Everyone ran outside shouting and crying," he said. "For about 20 minutes the hall was full of smoke. Almost everyone in the men's section is either dead or wounded."
Two hours after the blast, he said bodies were still being removed from the hall. Insurgents have periodically struck Afghan weddings, which are seen as easy targets because they frequently lack rigorous security precautions.
(with inputs from agencies)
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