- Title: Afghan president condemns wedding blast, relatives bury dead
- Date: 18th August 2019
- Summary: KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (AUGUST 18, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE CARRYING COFFINS FOR BURIAL PEOPLE HOLDING A MOURNER VARIOUS OF RELATIVES PERFORMING FUNERAL PRAYERS VARIOUS OF RELATIVES BURYING VICTIMS OF SUICIDE ATTACK RELATIVES OF VICTIMS AND BLAST WITNESS ENAYATULLAH AFGHAN ZADA AT THE FUNERAL (SOUNDBITE) (Dari) A RELATIVE OF THE VICTIMS, ENAYATULLAH AFGHAN ZADA, SAYING: "We were at a wedding party and once again we witnessed a brutal act of barbaric people. He (suicide bomber) came and detonated himself among the people in the wedding party and caused grief to all families." RELATIVE OF THE VICTIMS LAYING FLOWER ON A TOMB VARIOUS OF FUNERAL
- Embargoed: 1st September 2019 12:08
- Keywords: wedding blast wedding Ashraf Ghani Kabul burials Afghanistan Islamic State Afghan wedding blast suicide bomb
- Location: KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
- City: KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
- Country: Afghanistan
- Topics: Bombing (non-military),Conflicts/War/Peace,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA004ASQTWLJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Grieving relatives in Kabul on Sunday (August 18) buried victims of a suicide bombing that took place during a wedding party,
A suicide bomber killed 63 people and wounded 182 in an attack on a packed wedding reception in the Afghan capital on Saturday (August 17) night.
Islamic State on Sunday claimed responsibility for the attack.
One relative at the funeral, bloodstains still visible from his clothing, spoke about the attack.
"We were at a wedding party and once again we witnessed a brutal act of barbaric people. He (suicide bomber) came and detonated himself among the people in the wedding party and caused grief to all families," said Enayatullah Afghan Zada.
The attack came as the Taliban and the United States are trying to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with Afghanistan's U.S.-backed government.
The Taliban denied responsibility and condemned the attack which was at a west Kabul wedding hall, in a minority Shi'ite neighbourhood, packed with people celebrating a marriage.
There has been no let-up in fighting and bomb attacks in Afghanistan over recent months despite the talks between the United States and the Taliban since late last year.
President Ashraf Ghani, in comments on the Kabul blast before the IS claim, said the Taliban could not "absolve themselves of blame for they provide a platform for terrorists".
The Taliban have been fighting to expel foreign forces and re-establish an Islamic state since they were ousted in October 2001, weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.
Both U.S. negotiators and the Taliban have reported progress after eight rounds of talks since late last year. But some Afghans were sceptical about the effort, amid the carnage.
U.S. President Donald Trump has made no secret of his desire for a U.S. pullout from Afghanistan and an end to America's longest war.
But there are concerns among Afghan officials and U.S. national security aides that Afghanistan could plunge into a new civil war that could see a return of Taliban rule and international militants, including IS, finding a refuge.
Some 14,000 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan, training and advising Afghan security forces and conducting counterinsurgency operations.
(Production: Samargul Zwak, Sayed Hassib, Hameed Farzad)
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