Iran slams terrorist attack in Kabul

The bomber detonated his explosives near the entrance of a compound where the religious body known as the Afghan Ulema Council was meeting

The bomber detonated his explosives near the entrance of a compound where the religious body known as the Afghan Ulema Council was meeting

A local affiliate of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group claimed responsibility, while the Taliban denied involvement.

Interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish confirmed it was a suicide attack, and said the bomber had been on foot when he detonated his explosives at the university gate.

Twenty people were wounded in the attack, said Public Health Ministry spokesperson Wahid Majroh.

He issued the statement a day after U.S. General John Nicholson, commander of worldwide forces in Afghanistan, stated that some Taliban officials were secretly in contact with the Kabul government to discuss peace options.

Egypt, likewise, has been suffering terror activities at home that have killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers as well as civilians since the army toppled former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 in response to mass protests. It was not immediately clear how many of them were among those killed.

The United States condemns the suicide attack on religious leaders and scholars in Kabul who gathered in the name of peace.

Less than an hour before the attack happened, Ghofranullah Murad, a member of the council, read out a written statement from the gathering.

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This is the latest of many attacks that have rocked Afghanistan in recent months.

Ghassemi expressed deep sympathy with the government and people of Afghanistan and also family of victims of this terrorist attack and said, "Islamic Republic of Iran will stand by the people and government of Afghanistan like before and will spare no effort torestore peace and security to this country".

A week earlier, 60 people were killed and more than 100 wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a voter registration center in the city. The clerics also appealed to the government and its adversaries, primarily - the Taliban movement, calling for a cease-fire and peace negotiations.

"We believe sitting face to face for peace talks will be the beginning of solving disputed issues between both sides", the Ulema Council's statement said.

Last month, a major Taliban attack on Farah was only repulsed after us aircraft were scrambled to assist the beleaguered Afghan troops defending the city.

The bombing occurred at the entrance of the compound near a residential area in the west of Kabul as the participants were leaving the meeting, said police chief Ghafor Aziz.

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