Suicide bomber targets clerics in Afghan capital, at least 50 killed
KABUL — A suicide bomber targeted a gathering of hundreds of Muslim religious scholars in the Afghan capital on Tuesday, killing at least 50 people, Afghan officials said.
Public Health Ministry spokesperson Wahid Majroh said another 83 people were wounded in the attack, which took place as Muslims around the world marked the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. He said more than 20 people are in critical condition and that the toll could rise.
The suicide bomber was able to sneak into a wedding hall in Kabul where hundreds of religious scholars and clerics had gathered to mark the occasion.
“The victims of the attack unfortunately are all religious scholars who gathered to commemorate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad,” said Basir Mujahid, spokesperson for the Kabul police chief. He said police had not been asked to provide security for the event, and that the bomber had easily slipped into the hall. Most wedding halls have private security.
No one immediately claimed the attack, but both the Taliban and a local Islamic State affiliate have targeted religious scholars aligned with the government in the past.