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Suicide Bomber Kills 63, Injures 182 At Wedding Reception In Kabul

by Oregon State Media Sunday August 18, 2019    9:35 PM

KABUL, Afghanistan - The world continues down a path of depravity and evil as a cowardly murderer bent on a suicide mission, used a bomb to kill at least 63 people and wounded 182 in an explosion at a packed wedding hall Saturday night in Kabul, Afghanistan, according to the country's Interior Ministry.

The blast occurred near the stage where musicians were and "all the youths, children and all the people who were there were killed," witness Gul Mohammad told The Associated Press news agency.

Both the Bride and Groom survived. The groom, Mirwais Elmi, recalled greeting smiling guests in the afternoon, before seeing their bodies being carried out hours later.

The attack "changed my happiness to sorrow", the young man told local TV station Tolo News.

"My family, my bride are in shock, they cannot even speak. My bride keeps fainting," he said. "I lost my brother, I lost my friends, I lost my relatives. I will never see happiness in my life again."

In the aftermath of the attack, images from inside the hall showed blood-stained bodies on the ground along with pieces of flesh and torn clothes, hats, sandals and bottles of mineral water.

An Afghan government spokesperson said the bomber detonated inside the hall, where more than 1,000 guests had gathered to celebrate a wedding.

"Everybody was running," a waiter at the hall, Sayed Agha Shah, told Reuters. "Several of our waiters were killed and wounded."

Outside the hall, people were searching for relatives, and broken glass covered the ground, Jennifer Glasse reports for NPR from Kabul.

A spokesperson for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called the attack a "heinous crime against our people," Glasse says.

The Islamic State's affiliate in Afghanistan reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack on Sunday. The Taliban denied being behind it.

The attack came as the U.S. and the Taliban are said to be nearing a peace deal that would include the Taliban in some sort of power-sharing agreement.

Alex Thier, who served as a legal adviser to Afghanistan's Constitutional and Judicial Reform commissions, told NPR last week that Afghans "are seized with a deep and visceral feeling about the need for peace that comes from the fact that there has been so much violence. ... And they feel ready, frankly, also, to sacrifice for peace."

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