Death Toll in Afghan Wedding Attack Rises to 80

VOA correspondent Ayaz Gul contributed to this report from Islamabad. 

The death toll from a suicide bomb attack at a wedding in the Afghan capital, Kabul, last week has risen to 80, officials said. 

The initial death toll from Saturday’s blast was 63 but jumped to 80 after 17 civilians died from their wounds in recent days, Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said Wednesday. 

“Seventeen others have succumbed to their injuries in hospital and over 160 are still being treated either in hospitals or at home,” Rahimi said.

A man mourns for victims of the wedding hall bombing during a memorial service at a mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 20, 2019.

The blast, Kabul’s deadliest attack since January 2018, was claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. 

Survivors said hundreds of guests were inside the hall when the blast occurred near the stage where the musicians were. “All the youths, children and all the people who were there were killed,” witness Gul Mohammad said. One of the wounded, Mohammad Toofan, said that “a lot of guests were martyred.”

The bride’s father told TOLO television station that 14 members of his family were killed in the bombing and three were still missing. 

“I know that this will not be the last suffering for Afghans. This suffering will continue. This will not be the last incident to happen against innocent people,” the groom, identified as Mirwais, told the private Afghan news station.

The Taliban, who are set to resume peace talks with the U.S., condemned the attack as “barbaric.” 

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