KABUL: The Islamic State (IS) group claimed to have carried out a deadly suicide attack in eastern Afghanistan Saturday that killed at least 33 people and injured more than 100, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said, in what, if verified, would be the first major attack claimed by the militant group in the country.
“Who claimed responsibility for horrific attack in Nangarhar today? The Taliban did not claim responsibility for the attack, Daesh (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack,” President Ghani said on a visit to northeastern Badakhshan province.
A person purporting to be an IS spokesman said in a call to AFP that the group claimed responsibility for the bombing outside a bank in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad.
An online posting allegedly from the group made the same claim, which could not be immediately verified.
“Thirty-three dead bodies and more than 100 wounded were brought to the hospital,” Dr Najeebullah Kamawal, head of the provincial hospital, told AFP.
Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, a provincial government spokesman, confirmed the attack — the deadliest since November.
“The explosion happened outside the bank when government employees and civilians were collecting their monthly salaries,” he told AFP.
The UN gave a higher toll, saying 35 people had been killed.
President Ghani strongly condemned the attack, which saw children among those killed, his office said in a statement.
“Carrying out terrorist attacks in cities and public places are the most cowardly acts of terror by terrorists targeting innocent civilians,” President Ghani said… see more