News World At least 57 dead in Kabul election centre blast

At least 57 dead in Kabul election centre blast

People gather outside a voter registration centre, which was attacked by a suicide bomber in Kabul on Sunday. Photo: AP
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A suicide bomber has struck at a voter registration centre in the Afghan capital, killing at least 57 people in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group.

Public Health Ministry spokesman Wahid Majro said another 112 people were wounded in Sunday’s attack in Kabul, updating an earlier toll.

General Daud Amin, the Kabul police chief, said the suicide bomber targeted civilians who had gathered to receive national identification cards.

The large explosion echoed across the city, shattering windows kilometres away from the attack site and damaging several nearby vehicles.

Police blocked all roads to the blast site, with only ambulances allowed in.

Local TV stations broadcast live footage of hundreds of distraught people gathered at nearby hospitals seeking word about loved ones.

Islamic State claimed responsibility in a statement carried by its Aamaq news agency, saying it had targeted Shi’ite “apostates”.

Afghanistan will hold parliamentary elections in October.

Last week, three police officers responsible for guarding voter registration centres in two Afghan provinces were killed by militants, according to authorities.

Afghan security forces have struggled to prevent attacks by the Islamic State affiliate as well as the more firmly established Taliban since the US and Nato concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014.

Both groups regularly launch attacks, with the Taliban usually targeting the government and security forces, and IS targeting the country’s Shi’ite minority.