UPDATES WITH CONDEMNATION FROM TURKEY
By Shadi Khan Saif
KABUL, Afghanistan – A suicide bombing at a religious ceremony in capital Kabul on Tuesday killed at least 43 people, officials and local media confirmed.
Najib Danish, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, told Anadolu Agency the suicide attack targeted a private community hall. He said a meeting to mark the birthday of Prophet Muhammad was underway when the blast ripped through the crowd.
Local Azadi Radio reported at least 43 people were killed and more than 50 injured.
Emotional scenes were witnessed at the site as ambulances rushed to transfer the dead and wounded to hospitals.
Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack calling it a clear demonstration of enmity with Islamic principles and lifestyle of Prophet Muhammad.
He directed authorities to lower the national flag in government buildings and diplomatic missions on Wednesday to mourn the lives lost in this terrorist attack.
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.
Turkey also condemned the attack.
"We strongly condemn this terrorist attack and wish Allah’s mercy upon those who lost their lives, speedy recovery to the wounded, and convey our condolences to the friendly government and the brotherly people of Afghanistan," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
*Fatih Hafız Mehmet contributed to this story from Ankara.