ISIS claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan that has killed at least 80 and wounded 207 people. A suicide bomber detonated a device during a Hazaras protest. The group was protesting because they wanted the location of a main electric power line to be moved to include their province. According to AP, a spokesman for Afghan President Ashram Ghani stated the government shared intelligence with the protest organizers of a possible IS attack. Even with the threat warning, the protest went on as scheduled.
In a statement issued by its news agency, Aamaq, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack on a protest march by Afghanistan’s ethnic Hazaras. The marchers were demanding that a major regional electric power line be routed through their impoverished home province. Most Hazaras are Shiite Muslims, while most Afghans are Sunni.
Waheed Majroeh, the head of international relations for the Ministry of Public Health, confirmed the death toll and said it was likely to rise “as the condition of many of the injured is very serious.”
Road blocks that had been set up overnight to prevent the marchers accessing the center of the city or the presidential palace hampered efforts to transfer some of the wounded to hospital, witnesses said. People took to social media to call for blood donations.
The government had received intelligence that an attack on the march could take place, and had warned the organizers, a spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani told The Associated Press.
“We had intelligence over recent days and it was shared with the demonstration organizers, we shared our concerns because we knew that terrorists wanted to bring sectarianism to our community,” presidential spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri said.
Two suicide bombers had attempted to target the demonstrators, who were gathering in Demazang Square as their four-hour protest march wound down, Haroon Chakhansuri said. One of the suicide bombers was shot by the police, he told AP. He said that three district police chiefs on duty at the square were injured and another three security personnel were killed. – AP
Image courtesy of AP