At Least 52 People Killed in Kabul, Afghanistan

Photo from Twitter of Zakarya Hassani


A suicide bomb killed at least 52 people and wounded more than 110 people, on Sunday, April 22, at a voter registration center in Kabul, Afghan officials said.

The Islamic State group (IS) said it had carried out the attack. A suicide bomber, wearing an explosive belt, targeted a crowd of people who had lined up outside the center. The bomber was on foot, when he detonated his explosives at the gate of the building, about 10 a.m. local time, Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said.

In a statement distributed through Telegram. IS said “our martyrdom brother” targeted a group of Shiite people outside the voter registration center in the Dashte Barchi neighborhood. The extremist group is opposed to democratic elections. There have already been around four attacks on centers like this one, since voter registration started a week ago.

Many of the victims are said to be women, who came to the center with their children, to get their identity cards and register for the elections.

Voter registration began this month for legislative elections, which are due to take place in October.

The number of casualties is still growing.

Images from the scene show blood-stained documents and photographs on the floor. Abandoned shoes and broken glass litter the area, and nearby vehicles are riddled with holes.

Today’s attack is Kabul’s deadliest, since at least 100 people were killed in a district full of government buildings and embassies in January.

The chief executive of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah, condemned the attack on Twitter. “I strongly condemn the terrorist attack on voters’ registration center in Kabul. I stand with those affected by this coward attack. Our resolve for fair and transparent election will continue and terrorists won’t win against the will of the Afghan people,” Abdullah said.

President Ashraf Ghani sent his condolences to the victims’ families, and also condemned another terrorist attack in Pul-e-Khumri, along with this one. “I condemn the heinous terrorist attacks in Kabul and Pul-e-Khumri. I wish Allah’s mercy upon those who martyred, speedy recovery to the wounded, and convey my deep condolences to victims’ families. I instructed relevant institutions to provide support and care to those affected,” Ghani said.

The United States amabassor to Afghanistan, John Bass, called the attack “senseless violence.” “I strongly condemn this morning’s suicide attack on a voter registration center in #Kabul and offer my condolences to the victims and their families. This senseless violence shows the cowardice and inhumanity of the enemies of democracy and peace in #Afghanistan,” Bass said.