Kabul blast: Death toll mounts to 18

Suicide Attack Outside Kabul Wedding Hall Nine Dead Officials

Security officials have confirmed at least eight policemen and 10 civilians were killed in a suicide bomb blast in the Afghan capital on Thursday, TOLOnews reports.

Islamic State claimed responsibility, according to Amaq, its official news agency.

The meeting was held by supporters of Atta Mohammad Noor, governor of northern Balkh province, and a senior member of Jamiat political party, Farshad noted. The Taliban were quick to deny that they were behind the attack.

The bomber tried to get into the building but was stopped at the security checkpoint where he detonated himself, Kabul police spokesman Abdul Basir Mujahid said.

The explosion was the latest in a wave of violence that has killed and wounded thousands of civilians in Afghanistan this year.

A spokesman for the interior ministry said the suicide bomber approached a hotel hosting the gathering in the Khair Khana district of Kabul, on foot.

Another nine were wounded including seven police and two civilians, Danish added.

"After lunch, as we were exiting, a huge explosion shook the hall, shattering glass and causing chaos and panic", said Harun Mutaref.

At the time, CEO Abdullah Abdullah had also been at the funeral but escaped unhurt.

Mr Noor, a senior leader of the Tajik-dominated Jamiat-e Islami party, has been an outspoken critic of Mr Ghani and the National Unity Government.

Noor has hinted that he may run for president in 2019.

President Ashraf Ghani yesterday sacked the chairman of the Independent Election Commission, raising doubts over whether parliamentary and council ballots scheduled for next year will take place as planned.



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