At least seven people have been killed and more than 119 wounded in three separate explosions at a high-profile funeral in Kabul, the third attack in four days in the Afghan capital.
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The funeral was for one of on Friday at a large demonstration calling for the resignation of the government after a large truck bomb on Wednesday.
The ministry of public health said seven people had been killed on Saturday, while Reuters reported up to 12 dead. Wahid Mujro, a ministry spokesman, said 119 people had been injured. Numbers were likely to rise, given the density of the crowd of more than a thousand people.
The funeral for Salem Izidyar, the son of the senate deputy speaker, was attended by many high-ranking current and former officials, including the country’s chief executive, Abdullah Abdullah. According to his office, Abdullah was not hurt in the explosions.
After the blasts, Abdullah drove to Izidyar’s grave and participated in the burial, said his spokesman, Mujib Rahman Rahimi. On returning to his residence, Abdullah spoke on national television.
The first blast, which some attendees said came from an improvised explosive device, went off during the pre-burial prayer. It was followed by two more, when a pair of suicide bombers detonated their explosives.
Toryalai Shufaee, an aide to Zubair Massoud, the son of the former vice-president Ahmad Zia Massoud, who was at the funeral, said: “When I woke up, I saw dust everywhere and dead bodies, bodies that had been burned.”
Other prominent politicians at the ceremony included the foreign minister, Salahuddin Rabbani, and the former intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh. All escaped without serious injuries.
Footage of the explosions showed the consecutive blasts sending people running in all directions.
Speaking to local media, Saleh criticised the government for failing to protect such a high-level gathering and called on the president, , to review his security cabinet.
The suicide bombers reportedly posed as mourners in the crowd.
But Rahimi said “you cannot search everyone” with gatherings involving such large numbers.
The truck bombing in Kabul’s diplomatic quarter, one the deadliest attacks in since 2001, has left the streets of the capital tense and the foreign community anxious. On Friday, the German embassy evacuated from the country all its staff, except the ambassador and military attache.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the funeral bombs, but Izidyar’s father, Mohammad Alam Izidyar, is a prominent member of the anti-Taliban Jamiat-e Islami party.