Published: Mon, June 04, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Seven killed as gathering condemning violence targeted in Kabul

Seven killed as gathering condemning violence targeted in Kabul

No group has yet claimed the attack, but both the Taliban and the Islamic State group are stepping up their headline-grabbing assaults on the heavily fortified capital, making it the most deadly place in the country for civilians.

The attack happened at the main entrance of a sprawling compound where about 2,000 Muslim clerics had gathered to deliberate on the current war and attacks by the Taliban and the Islamic State, which are battling the Afghan government and US and other foreign troops in the country.

He added that the terrorists did not want the Afghan clerics to convey their message of peace, humanity, mercy, compassion as well as the message of fighting hostility, violence and terrorism to the country's people and other nations. The explosion struck as the council was ending and the participants were about to leave, Aziz said.

More than 2,000 religious scholars from across the country began meeting on Sunday at the Loya Jirga (Grand Council) tent, denouncing years of conflict.

Stanikzai further added that two policemen were among those wounded in the attack.

Kabul district police chief later told journalists, that the blast killed 8 people, the Reuters news agency reports.

Shortly before the attack, the clerics had issued an Islamic ruling, or a fatwa, declaring that suicide attacks are "haram" - forbidden under Islamic law. It was the first time the council has issued such an appeal. At least 17 were injured in the attack, TOLO News reported.

Reading out a statement from the gathering, council member Ghofranullah Murad said that "the ongoing war in Afghanistan is illegal and has no root in Shari'a law".

Taliban denied any involvement in the attack.

A week earlier, 60 people were killed and more than 100 wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a voter registration centre in the city.

Meanwhile, the Taliban has stepped up its attacks against Afghan security forces as well as government officials across the country since the announcement of its spring offensive in April. Their relentless assaults underscore the struggles that Afghan forces have faced since the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation concluded their combat mission in Afghanistan at the end of 2014.

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