Six die as three suicide bombers attack mourners

At least six people have been killed by suicide bombers at the funeral of a man who died in a demonstration on Friday.
Afghans at the scene of the yesterdays attack. Picture: GettyAfghans at the scene of the yesterdays attack. Picture: Getty
Afghans at the scene of the yesterdays attack. Picture: Getty

The attack on the funeral in Kabul – which was attended by government officials – came 24 hours after hundreds of demonstrators turned out to demand more security in the Afghan capital.

This followed a powerful truck bomb attack in the city on Monday that killed 90 people and wounded more than 450.

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That attack raised fears about the government’s ability to protect its citizens nearly 16 years into a war with insurgents. Yesterday, Wahid Mujro, spokesman for the public health ministry, said three explosions rocked a cemetery where Afghan senator Alam Ezadyar’s son was about to be buried.

Salim Ezadyar was one of several people killed during the protest on Friday attended by more than a thousand people in central Kabul.

Alam Ezadyar is deputy speaker for the upper house of the Afghanistan Parliament.

The chief executive of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah, survived yesterday’s attack.

In a televised address, Abdullah said three suicide bombers were among the mourners attending the funeral.

A couple of hundred protesters had passed the night under two big tents on a road near the presidential palace following Friday’s demonstration.

All roads toward the palace and nearby diplomatic areas were blocked by police and there was limited movement of vehicles and people.

The nature of Friday’s protest shifted when protesters – many calling for the country’s leadership to resign – attempted to move closer to the palace and some rushed police, who fired warning shots and used water cannons and eventually tear gas in attempt to disperse the crowd.

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The city’s police chief claimed that some demonstrators fired weapons in the direction of his men.

However, an Afghan MP said on Friday that eight protesters had been shot dead, while a hospital official said four corpses had been brought to his facility.

Police admitted on Friday that two protesters had been killed and 25 police injured but would not comment on the number of fatalities when asked to clarify the death toll yesterday.

Meanwhile, Gen Murad Ali Murad, the Afghan deputy interior minister, urged demonstrators to disperse because of a high security threat level in the country.

He also called on members of the public not to join in any demonstrations.

President Ashraf Ghani Ghani, meanwhile, met senior security officials during an emergency security meeting.

A statement from the president’s office said the meeting determined that an investigation must find out what exactly happened that led to the violence and identify those who acted against the law.

Most of the casualties from Monday’s truck bombing were civilians, including women and children, officials have said.

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But the dead also included Afghan security guards at the facilities, including the US Embassy, and 11 American contractors were wounded – none with life-threatening injuries, a US State Department official said.

No-one has claimed responsibility for the attack, which came in the first week of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The Taleban denied any role and there has been no comment from so-called Islamic State militants, who are usually quick to claim attacks.

More than a third of Afghanistan is now said to be outside government control.

The US has about 8,400 troops in Afghanistan, while another 5,000 from Nato allies are in the country.

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