International News

18 killed in suicide attack outside Kabul wedding hall: officials

A suicide attacker blew himself up outside a wedding hall in Kabul killing at least 18 people, officials said on Thursday, in an apparent attempt to strike a political gathering under way inside.
The Taliban was quick to deny responsibility for the attack, the latest to hit the war-weary Afghan capital where insurgents have been stepping up assaults in a show of deadly force.
Supporters of Atta Mohammad Noor, the powerful governor of the northern province of Balkh and a vocal critic of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, had been holding an event inside the hall at the time of the blast.
Noor was not at the event, one of his aides told AFP.
The bomber tried to enter the building but was stopped at the security checkpoint where he detonated his device, Kabul police spokesman Abdul Basir Mujahid told AFP. “A number of our police personnel are among the casualties,” Mujahid added.
Interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said seven policemen and two civilians had been killed.
“The bomber detonated himself after he was identified by the police at the entrance gate,” Danish said. Another nine were wounded including seven police and two civilians, he added.