Suicide Bomb Attack In Afghan Capital Kills Dozens
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
In Kabul, a suicide bomber has targeted a Shiite cultural center and news agency. The Afghan Interior Ministry is saying more than 40 people were killed and dozens were wounded this morning. NPR's Diaa Hadid has been following this news from Islamabad.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: (Sobbing, crying).
DIAA HADID, BYLINE: Live television showed ambulances rushing to Kabul's Istiqlal hospital as relatives milled outside. The suicide bomber targeted the Tebyan center just as a morning discussion panel was underway in the basement. A local reporter identified at least two men killed in the attack. One was a journalist. Another had just celebrated his university graduation. There were conflicting reports of how many explosions took place and how many attackers were involved. And nobody has claimed responsibility so far.
A Taliban spokesman issued a statement saying they didn't do it. And the apparent target of the attack, Shiites, suggests it may have been undertaken by Islamic State militants. Since they emerged two years ago in Afghanistan, they have relentlessly targeted Shiites. They see them as heretics. The U.S., the U.N., the Afghan presidency and NATO quickly condemned the attack. But the human rights group Amnesty International said condemnations weren't enough. They said the attack showed that the international community, particularly Europe, needed to stop forcibly returning Afghan asylum-seekers back home.
Diaa Hadid, NPR News, Islamabad. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.