At least 40 people were killed and 30 others sustained injuries in a suicide attack at a Shia cultural and religious organisation in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday, December 28. After the attack, two more explosions are said to have ripped through the area. The explosion also affected the Afghan Voices news agency, where a journalist was also reported dead.
The attack took place at about 10.30 am local time at the Pule Sokhtia area and officials believe that there was more than one attacker. They also said that there could have been about three suicide bombers, who also may have used grenades in the attack, reported TOLO News.
The attack was carried out while a morning panel discussion was going on at the centre and many students were in attendance. Sayed Abbas Hussaini, a journalist at the Afghan Voice news agency also told Reuters that another journalist had sustained injuries.
"The target of the attack was the Tabayan cultural centre. A ceremony was being held to mark the 38th anniversary of the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan when the explosion went off," Deputy interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi told Agence France-Presse.
No one has claimed the attack yet, but the Taliban have issued a statement that they had no hand in the attack. "Attack in Puli Sokhta area of #Kabul city today has nothing to do with the Mujahidin. It is said that target of attack was media center & education facility. Mujahidin of IEA are very cautious about such areas & do not commit such acts," the Taliban tweeted.
The latest explosion comes after the media in Afghanistan has faced a series of attacks in the last few years. Just last month, a private television station was attacked in Kabul and Afghanistan is considered to be one of the most dangerous countries for media personnel. In 2017 itself, two journalists and five media assistants have been killed while on duty in Afghanistan.