AT News Report
KABUL: At least three civilians have been killed and 22 other received injures after Daesh fighters launched back-to-back mortar attack targeting a gathering of thousands of people, with a number of influential and political figures were present to mark the 24th death anniversary of Abdul Ali Mazari—leader of Hezb-e-Wahdat party.
Wahidullah Majroh, Spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health said three people “embraced martyrdom” and 22 others including three children and one woman wounded and have immediately evacuated to hospitals by Kabul Ambulances from the scene of incidents.
Nasrat Rahimi, Spokesman for the Ministry of Interior confirmed “several mortars were fired from a house in Police District 18 toward the venue of the gathering.”
He said the mortars landed “hundred meters away from the site of the gathering.” He said “fortunately the attacker who was firing the mortars from a house had been arrested by the security forces and few other people who were helping the attacker to give him coordinates have been under the siege of the police which will be arrested soon.”
The attack took place at around 12pm, local time, where Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah was delivering speech at the ceremony in Musala-e-Mazar compound in the west of Kabul.
He said “this is one of the signs of enemies of Afghanistan,” Abdullah said after firing kicked off. He called on the participations to stay calm.
Former president Hamid Karzai, former National Security Advisor Haneef Atmar, former Vice president Yunus Qanoni, Acting Foreign Minister, Salahuddin Rabbani, Second Deputy Chief Executive Mohammad Mohaqiq, and other officials were at the ceremony.
As the next speaker, Qanoni started his speech and tried to calm down the participants, several other explosions heard in which forced to end the ceremony and has advised the participants to leave the venue.
Mortars are firing from different locations, Muhaqiq, who was also organizer of the ceremony told the participants, asked them to leave as fear to attack them was highly possible.
“The venue of the gathering is a target, they are continuously firing mortars, I fear not to hit the venue” Muhaqiq said.
Thousands of people had gathered to mark the 24th death anniversary of Abdul Ali Mazari, who was martyred 24 years ago by the Taliban extremist group.
President Ashraf Ghani strongly condemned the terrorist attack, saying “terrorist attack on the death anniversary of Abdul Ali Mazari was carried out by the “criminal enemy” of the people that martyred and injured a number of citizens.”
President Ghani expressed his condolences with the victim families and prayed for rapid recovery to the injured.
“I’ve arrived home safe and unharmed from today’s terrorist attack in Dasht e Barchi but 8 of my security guards have been injured,” a presidential candidate Haneef Atmar wrote in his twitter account.
“This was the most horrid and unforgivable attack on civilians by a merciless enemy. I’m pained by the loss of life and injury suffered by some many.”
Another presidential candidate, Abdul Latif Pedram is also among those injured in the attack.
“Afghan presidential candidate, Abdul Latif Pedram has been injured in Kabul attack, his health condition is good” his aids wrote on his official Facebook pages.
Islamic State (IS), locally known as Daesh terrorist claimed responsibility for the attack.