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Daesh claims responsibility for Kabul attack on Abdullah Abdullah's rally

The rally led by Afghanistan politician Abdullah Abdullah came under attack from gunmen earlier in the day

By AFP
March 06, 2020
Smoke rises from the site of a gun attack following an attack during an event to mark the 25th anniversary of death of Shiite leader Abdul Ali Mazari, In Kabul on March 6, 2020. At least 27 people were killed in an attack on a political rally in Kabul on March 6, officials said, in the deadliest assault in Afghanistan since the US signed a withdrawal deal with the Taliban. — AFP / Str

Daesh late Friday claimed responsibility for a gun assault on a political rally in the Afghan capital that killed 29 people and wounded 61.

"Two brothers... targeted a gathering of apostates... in Kabul city with machine guns, hand grenades and rocket-propelled grenades," it said in a statement via the Telegram messaging app.

The rally led by Afghanistan politician Abdullah Abdullah came under attack from gunmen during the afternoon.

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.

Interior ministry spokesperson Nasrat Rahimi said gunfire had erupted from a construction site near the ceremony in the city’s west.

"Soon after the attack, police and special forces units rushed to the scene," Rahimi told a local news station, noting that sporadic gunfire was ongoing.

Photos on social media showed at least two bodies, but there was no official word on a death toll.

"We left the ceremony following the gunfire, and a number of people were wounded, but I do not have any reports of martyred people for now," Hazara leader Mohammad Mohaqiq told Tolo News.

The interior ministry later confirmed to reporters that "all the high-ranking officials were safely evacuated from the scene".

The incident comes less than a week after the US and Taliban signed a deal that would pave the way for the complete withdrawal of foreign troops in 14 months.

However, fighting has continued to rage across the country, casting a pall over hopes that the agreement would lead to a reduction in violence.