Twin suicide attack in Afghanistan kills at least 58; IS, Taliban claim responsibility

Islamic State and Taliban have claimed responsibility for the twin suicide attack in Afghanistan.

Twin suicide attack in Afghanistan kills at least 58; IS, Taliban claim responsibility
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KABUL: At least 58 people were killed in twin suicide attacks in Afghanistan's capital Kabul and in the country's Baghlan province during the ongoing voter registration process on Sunday.

The first blast took place around 10 am when a suicide bomber blew himself up among a crowd lining up to get access to an election-related registration site in Kabul, initially killing 52 people and injuring 112. The blast took place in front of a school located in Kabul's Qala-e-Nazir area. 

Several women and children were among those dead and many others, who were wounded, still remained in a critical condition.

Hours later, insurgents placed an IED close to a voter registration centre in Pul-e-Khumri city in Baghlan province, killing six of a family and injuring five others, according to the Afghan media.

The family was driving past the centre in Pul-e-Khumri city when the IED detonated, health officials said. 

Terror group Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the Kabul attack while police said the attackers in Baghlan were Taliban.

The Afghan officials have decided to hold parliamentary and district councils elections in Afghanistan on October 20. The voter registration process started on April 14.

Two policemen have been killed and five people, including three election officials, have been kidnapped since the voter registration began.

Afghans will elect members to the 249-seat lower house of Parliament for a five-year term besides members of district councils.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, the UN mission in the country apart from the Indian and Iranian governments have strongly condemned the attacks.

The Government of India condemned in the strongest terms the 'cowardly and barbaric' suicide attack in Afghanistan's capital Kabul and in the country's Baghlan province which claimed the lives of at least 58 people.

"India strongly condemns the cowardly and barbaric terrorist attack in Kabul and Baghlan today (Sunday)," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

"What makes this attack particularly reprehensible is the fact that the terrorists and their backers chose to attack a voters' registration centre for the upcoming parliamentary and district council elections," the MEA statement read further.

While calling it an attack on the democratic rights of the Afghan people, the MEA said, "the attack has resulted in the death of Afghans who firmly support and believe in the democratic process to empower themselves and make their voice heard."

(With PTI inputs)

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