At Least 63 Dead, 182 Hurt After Suicide Attack at Wedding: Afghan Official

August 18, 2019 Updated: August 18, 2019

KABUL—A suicide bomber killed 63 people and wounded 182 in an attack on a wedding reception in the Afghan capital on Saturday night, the interior ministry said.

The Taliban denied responsibility for the blast at a west Kabul wedding hall, in a minority Shi’ite neighborhood, packed with people celebrating a marriage.

Afghanistan wedding suicide attack
An injured man talks on a mobile phone while receiving treatment in the hospital after sustaining wounds from a blast at a wedding hall in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 18, 2019. (REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail)

Sediq Seddiqi, spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani, said on Twitter: “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?!!”

The attack came as the Taliban and the United States are trying to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with the U.S.-backed government.

It follows a bomb attack on a mosque in Pakistan on Friday that killed a brother of Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhundzada. No one claimed responsibility for that blast, which killed four people and wounded about 20.

Pictures posted on social media showed bodies strewn amid overturned table and chairs at the wedding hall. The bomber struck the men’s reception area, officials said.

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