Kabul: Daesh has claimed responsibility for a gun assault on a political rally in the Afghan capital Friday 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.
Top Afghan political leader, Abdullah Abdullah, was present during the attack but he escaped unharmed, his spokesman said.
“The attack started with a boom, apparently a rocket landed in the area, Abdullah and some other politicians ... escaped the attack unhurt,” Abdullah’s spokesman, Fraidoon Kwazoon, who was also present, told Reuters by telephone.
Earlier, the Taliban denied responsibility for the attack on the gathering marking the anniversary of the death of Abdul Ali Mazari, an ethnic Hazara leader who was killed in 1995 after being taken prisoner by the militants.
Broadcaster Tolo News showed live footage of people running for cover as gunfire was heard.
The interior ministry later confirmed that all the high-ranking officials had been “safely evacuated.”
“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.
President Ashraf Ghani condemned the massacre as a “crime against humanity”.