Afghanistan blast: Victims recall massive explosion as death toll reaches 55

Devdiscourse News Desk | Kabul | Updated: 21-11-2018 16:46 IST | Created: 21-11-2018 16:24 IST
Afghanistan blast: Victims recall massive explosion as death toll reaches 55
(Image Credit: Twitter)

Minutes after he took a seat among hundreds of religious scholars at a ceremony for the Prophet Mohammad's birthday in Kabul, a huge explosion shook the room, throwing Ahmad Fareed to the floor.

Scattered around him were the bloodied bodies of turbaned men who had taken the full force of the suicide blast and probably saved his life.

"It was absolute horror, people dead and wounded, covered in blood and pieces of flesh," Fareed, 40, told AFP on Wednesday as he lay in a hospital bed with leg and shoulder injuries.

"My friend and his little son were also next to me, covered in blood and not moving."

At least 55 people were killed and 94 wounded when the bomber blew himself up in the middle of the banquet hall at the Uranus Wedding Palace on Tuesday evening -- one of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan this year.

A video posted on social media purportedly filmed by one of the hundreds of attendees showed a large gathering of men listening to a recitation of the Koran before an explosion triggered pandemonium.

On Wednesday morning, as cleaners prepared the multi-storey venue for more events, bloodied turbans, sandals, overturned chairs and broken glass still littered the cavernous room where the massacre happened.

The attack drew widespread condemnation in Afghanistan and abroad, with the United Nations describing it as an "atrocity".

US ambassador to Kabul John Bass said he was "sickened and deeply saddened" by the bombing, while the European Union delegation to Afghanistan said the explosion was "an attack on all of us, religious or not, who value freedom".

President Ashraf Ghani declared Wednesday a national day of mourning for the victims of the attack, which he described as an "unforgivable crime".

Security at the wedding hall included a body search by an armed guard followed by physical checks by several religious students, said Obaidullah, who suffered multiple injuries to his face and body.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, though the Taliban were quick to condemn the blast.

The Islamic State group, which has claimed most suicide attacks in Kabul this year, has not issued a statement.

It is not clear why the religious scholars were targeted on one of the holiest days in the Islamic calendar.

While Muslims around the world celebrate the Prophet Mohammad's birthday, some fundamentalists criticise the events as heretical innovations in Islam.

Most of the people at the gathering were Sufis, a mystical branch of Islam, said Mehrab Danish, an adviser to the religious affairs minister.

"But it is too early to say they were targeted because they were followers of Sufism," he cautioned.

Sectarian militants in Pakistan have long targeted Sufis, but such attacks on the group are rare in Afghanistan.

(With inputs from agencies.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Blockchain in Healthcare: Opportunities and challenges

The use of blockchain in healthcare is a relatively new innovation with many of its uses still being explored and related technologies being developed, improved, and scaled. ...

Debate surrounding vaccine passports and development misses bigger picture

... ...

Blockchain vs IOTA: Looking for a better alternative

... ...

For stability, Iraq needs to crack down on corruption

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Mumbai, May 12 (PTI) FOLLOWING ARE THE DIRECT RATES OF EXCHANGE (DPE) AS ANNOUNCED BY THE STATE BANK OF INDIA HERE.

FOLLOWING ARE THE DIRECT RATES OF EXCHANGE DPE AS ANNOUNCED BY THE STATE BANK OF INDIA HERE. ALL RATES IN RUPEES PER UNIT .CURRENCY CODE TTBUY TTSEL BILLBUY TTSEL USDINR 72.73 74.23 72.67 74.38 EURINR 87.57 90.52 87.49 90.71 GBPINR 102.08 ...

Toyota extends warranty, free service periods amid pandemic

Toyota Kirloskar Motor on Wednesday said it has extended vehicle warranty and customer-paid extended warranty period by one month in the states where restrictions have been imposed by the government due to COVID-19 crisis.The company has al...

Hungary's opposition plans joint primary in bid to unseat PM Orban in 2022

Hungarys opposition will hold the countrys first ever primary elections this year to pick joint candidates to contest the 2022 national election, six parties said on Wednesday, a move that could threaten Prime Minister Viktor Orbans grip on...

EU court rules in favor of initiative fighting trade with illegal settlements

An EU court rescinded a European Commission decision not to register a citizens initiative fighting against the import of goods produced in illegal settlements in occupied territories to the 27-nation bloc.The Commission had failed to adequ...

Give Feedback