40 dead, dozens wounded in multiple Kabul blasts

Hannah Rogers
December 29, 2017

ISIS has claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack on a Shia cultural center in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, that left 41 people dead and dozens injured.

Islamic State also claimed Monday's attack on the National Directorate of Security spy agency in a statement via their Amaq propaganda arm. NPR's Robert Siegel talks to Reuters' Kabul bureau chief James Mackenzie for an update on the details of the attack.

The ministry of interior had earlier pegged the death toll at 30.

Islamic State has expanded its presence in Afghanistan since it first appeared in the region in 2015.

Afghan Voice has Shiite links but there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Afghan security forces near the scene in Kabul on Thursday. He added that one reporter at the agency had been killed and two injured.

Afghan Journalists Safety Committee recently reported a surge in attacks against journalists, with at least 73 cases recorded in 2017, an increase of 35 percent compared with 2016.

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CBS Los Angeles reports model Chrissy Teigen was on board and tweeted about the ordeal as it was happening. The official who spoke on condition of anonymity says both cleared security and had valid boarding passes.

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani called the attack a "crime against humanity".

Najib Danish, a spokesman for the interior ministry, said at least five people were killed and two wounded.

"Terrorists always hide their defeat against our security forces by attacking mosques, religious places, and educational institutions, and killing our people, including women and children", Ghani wrote on Facebook.

Human rights organization Amnesty International said the attack underscored the dangers faced by Afghan civilians and blasted European leaders for forcibly returning Afghan asylum-seekers to the country.

2016 was described as one of the deadliest for journalists in Afghanistan, with the war by the Taliban being the main source of violence.

Dawlat Abad District Gov. Mohammad Karim said Thursday the powerful mine killed six shepherd children Wednesday ages 10, 9 and 8.

"I have little doubt that this attack deliberately targeted civilians".

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