At least 63 people were killed and more than 180 others were wounded when a suicide bomber targeted a wedding hall in Kabul, Afghan media organisation TOLO News has reported.
It quoted the Afghan interior ministry spokesperson as saying that many of the victims were women and children. He also confirmed that it was a suicide bombing. The explosion occurred at around 10:40pm on Saturday.
TOLO News quoted sources and eyewitnesses who said the Shahr-e-Dubai hall was packed with guests when the explosion happened.
Sources said the casualties might be high. Wedding ceremonies in Afghanistan are often attended by more than 400 guests.
The Taliban have rejected involvement in the attack. In a statement, they said they “condemn incidents targeting women and children”.
Government spokesman Feroz Bashari said the blast was “a clear sign that terrorists can’t see Afghans express happiness”. “You can’t make them bow by killing them. The perpetrators of tonight’s attack shall be held responsible,” he wrote on Twitter.
Mohammad Farhag, who had been at the wedding, told AFP he had been in the women’s section when he heard a huge blast in the men’s area. “Everyone ran outside shouting and crying,” he said. “For about 20 minutes the hall was full of smoke. Almost everyone in the men’s section is either dead or wounded. Now, two hours after the blast, they are still taking bodies out of the hall.”