At least 40 killed in Kabul blast near wedding hall - Afghan ministry

At least 40 killed in Kabul blast near wedding hall - Afghan ministry

At least 40 killed in Kabul blast near wedding hall - Afghan ministry

"More than 60 or 70 people were martyred", Hanif, 31, said, outside a trauma facility run by Italian NGO Emergency.

"Initial information suggests it was caused by a suicide bomber", interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said.

The attacker entered a banquet room at the venue near Kabul airport and detonated his explosives.

At least 43 are dead and 83 more were wounded, Afghan Health Ministry spokesman Waheed Majroh said Tuesday night.

Afghan religious scholars wait outside a Kabul hospital after a suicide attack targeted a religious gathering at a wedding hall, killing dozens.

The attack took place as Muslims around the world marked the birthday of the Prophet Mohammad.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in a statement expressed outrage at the bombing at a time when communities across Afghanistan are marking a day of special religious significance.

"We had parliamentary elections in October - the Taliban and Islamic State had both targeted the run-up to those elections and the elections themselves".

So far no organisation, including Taliban and local Islamic State affiliate has claimed the responsibility.

U.S. ambassador to Kabul John Bass said he was "sickened and deeply saddened" by the bombing, while the European Union delegation to Afghanistan said the explosion was "an attack on all of us, religious or not, who value freedom".

The victims included religious delegates from various parts of the country, invited by the Afghan Ulema Council to celebrate the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad on Tuesday. Most wedding halls have private security.

The latest attack comes as the Taliban intensifies pressure on Afghan security forces, even as the worldwide community ramps up efforts to convince the group to engage in peace talks. "I extend our condolences to the families and followers of those killed and wounded", Bass tweeted.

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