Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly attacks in Kabul

31 December, 2017, 04:21 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • BREAKING NEWS: 40 people killed in Kabul after bomb goes off at ceremony to mark the 38th anniversary of the

Thursday's bloodshed follows an attack on a private television station in Kabul last month, which was also claimed by the local affiliate of Islamic State.

Local media reported an explosion early on Thursday.

American and global 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.

U.S. Ambassador John R. Bass said the incident "once again demonstrates the depravity of those who seek to undermine peace and stability in Afghanistan". The agency said they were targeting Shia Muslims.

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The Taliban have issued a statement saying they were not involved. In October, ISIS claimed responsibility for twin attacks on Shiite mosques in Afghanistan that killed almost 60 people.

"Terrorists groups and their backers must know that the Afghan people are united and stand firm to any plot carried out by their enemies; these heinous attacks will not break the resolve of the Afghan people", the statement read.

More broadly, the Afghan capital has come under attack several times in 2017.

Officials said two other nearby devices were detonated after the initial explosion. It also says one journalist was killed and others were wounded.

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Photographs sent by witnesses showed what appeared to be serious damage at the site, in a heavily Shia Muslim area in the west of the capital, and a number of dead and wounded on the ground.

Ghani called the attack a crime against humanity, Islam and "all human values".

Taliban forces fighting US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Afghanistan have denied any involvement in the attack.

Security in Afghanistan is rapidly deteriorating following the withdrawal of worldwide forces from the country 3 years ago.

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