Deadly Blast Rips Through Wedding in Kabul, Afghanistan

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A suicide bomber detonated explosives that ripped through a wedding in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday, officials said.

The blast happened at about 10:40 p.m. local time ( 1:40 p.m. ET) at the Shahr-e-Dubai wedding hall in the capital city, Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said.

There are dead among the casualties, Rahimi said, though he did not have exact numbers.

About 20 people were taken to a Kabul hospital run by the Italian NGO Emergency, according to a tweet posted by the organization.

“We were planning to sleep when we heard the sound of a loud explosion,” a witness, who lives near the venue and did not want to be identified, told CNN.

“When I came outside, I saw smoke coming out of the hall. I saw dead bodies and wounded people, who were being taken to hospitals by policemen and Kabul ambulances. We are too in shock, too upset by the incident.”

No further details about the blast or casualties were immediately available.

The venue is in western Kabul, an area home to many of Afghanistan’s Shiite Hazara minority. It is also near the Darul Aman palace, where President Ashraf Ghani is expected to celebrate Afghan Independence Day on Monday.

Earlier this month, 14 people were killed and 145 injured in the same district when three suicide attackers detonated an improvised explosive device at the gate of the police headquarters.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the August 7 attack, even as the terror group negotiates a peace plan with Washington.

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