At least 63 dead in bombing at Kabul voter registration centre

Islamic State have claimed an attack on dozens of people outside a voter registration centre in Kabul which killed at least 63 people and wounded dozens

(Photo:Reuters)
(Photo:Reuters)

A suicide bomber has killed at least 63 people and wounded dozens outside a voter registration centre in Kabul, an attack claimed by Islamic State.

The public health ministry spokesman Wahid Majro said another 54 people were wounded in Sunday’s attack. Gen Daud Amin, the Kabul police chief, said the suicide bomber targeted hundreds of civilians who were queuing to receive national identification cards to vote in legislative elections scheduled for 20 October.

“It happened at the entrance gate of the centre. It was a suicide attack,” Amin told AFP.

Six more people were killed later in the day in Baghlan's Pul-e-Khumri city, when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb near another voting centre. All six were from the same family.

Police blocked all roads to the blast site, with only ambulances allowed in. Local TV stations broadcast live footage of hundreds of distraught people gathered at nearby hospitals seeking word about loved ones.

Isis claimed responsibility in a statement carried by its Aamaq news agency, saying it had targeted Shia “apostates”. Isis is opposed to the country holding democratic elections.

“We’re fed up with this government to whom we ask for help,” Farooq Hussain said. “Our young generation and children are dying too early.”

The Kabul bombing occured in the Dasht-e-Barchi area, where many of the country's Shia Hazara minority reside.

Among the victims were many women and children, witnesses said.

Wahid Majro, spokesman for the public health ministry, said five small children and 21 women were killed in the attack. The toll could still rise, he told the Associated Press news agency.

Afghan security forces have struggled to prevent attacks by Isis as well as the more firmly established Taliban since the US and Nato concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014.

Over the next two months, authorities hope to register up to 14 million adults at more than 7,000 polling centres for the parliamentary and district council elections.

Last week, militants killed three police officers responsible for guarding voter registration centres in two Afghan provinces, according to authorities.

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