Kabul: At least 27 people were killed in an attack on a political rally in Kabul on Friday, officials said, in the deadliest assault in Afghanistan since the US signed a withdrawal deal with the Taliban.
The attack highlights the glaring lack of security in the heavily fortified Afghan capital just 14 months ahead of the scheduled withdrawal of all foreign forces under an agreement signed on February 29 by the US and the Taliban.
Interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said women and children were among the dead with an additional 29 wounded, adding that “special forces units are carrying out clearance operations against the attackers”.
“The figures will change,” he said.
Nizamuddin Jalil, a health ministry official, gave a slightly higher toll, saying 29 people had been killed and 30 others wounded.
The Taliban immediately denied responsibility for the assault, which occurred at the commemoration ceremony for Abdul Ali Mazari — a politician from the Hazara ethnic group, most of whom are Shiite.
An Islamic State group-claimed attack on the same ceremony last year saw a barrage of mortar fire kill at least 11 people.