Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Kabul attack: Afghanistan marks day of mourning after Isis claims responsibility for killing at least 80 in suicide bombing

Authorities say another 231 people were wounded in Saturday's attack on a peaceful protest

Sunday 24 July 2016 10:09 BST
Comments
Funerals are beginning quietly in Kabul as families collect their dead from hospitals and morgues
Funerals are beginning quietly in Kabul as families collect their dead from hospitals and morgues (Reuters)

Afghanistan marked a national day of mourning on Sunday, a day after at least 80 people were killed by a suicide bomber attack on a peaceful demonstration. Isis has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Funerals were due to begin quietly in western Kabul as families collected their dead from hospitals and morgues across the capital.

Authorities say another 231 people were wounded, some seriously, in the attack Saturday afternoon on a march by members of the ethnic Hazara community, who are predominantly Shiite Muslim. Most Afghans are Sunni, and Isis regards Shiites as apostates.

Kabul 'suicide bomb' attack

Isis has had a presence in Afghanistan for the past year, mainly in the eastern province of Nangarhar along the Pakistani border. The Afghan military, backed by U.S. troops, is planning an offensive against Isis positions in Nangarhar in coming days.

Prior to the Saturday attack, thousands of Hazaras had marched through Kabul to demand the rerouting of a power line through their impoverished province of Bamiyan, in the central highlands. It was their second demonstration; the first was in May and had a much better turnout and was attended by senior Hazara politicians who were absent from Saturday's march.

The Afghan military is planning an offensive against Isis positions in coming days (Reuters)

The office of President Ashraf Ghani said that march organizers had been warned to call off the demonstration after intelligence was received that an attack was likely.

Daud Naji, a member of the Enlighten Movement which organized the marches, said on Sunday that they had been told only that there was a "heightened risk" of attack and had subsequently cancelled nine of 10 planned routes.

He said that despite a government ban on all public gatherings and demonstrations for 10 days following the attack, the funerals and other mourning rites would go ahead.

Associated Press

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in