ISIS terrorist group claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a Shia cultural center and news agency on Thursday in the Afghan capital that killed dozens of people attending a conference.
Ismail Kawosi, a spokesman for the ministry of public health, said 41 people had been killed and 48 wounded in the latest in a series of attacks on media organizations in Kabul.
The attack, which involved at least three explosions, occurred during a morning panel discussion on the anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan at the Tabian Social and Cultural Centre, with many of those attending students, witnesses said, Reuters reported.
It was also the latest in a series of attacks on Shia targets by Daesh, which claimed responsibility in an online statement.
The floors of the center, at the basement level, were covered in blood as wailing survivors and relatives picked through the debris, while windows of the news agency, on the second floor, were all shattered.
People running outside into the compound following an initial blast inside were caught by two further explosions which caused heavy casualties, witnesses said.
Photographs sent by witnesses showed serious damage at the building in the west of the capital, and a number of dead and wounded on the ground.
Deputy Health Minister Feda Mohammad Paikan said 35 bodies had been brought into the nearby Istiqlal hospital. Television pictures showed many of the injured suffered serious burns.
President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman issued a statement calling the attack an “unpardonable” crime against humanity and pledging to destroy terrorist groups.