Blast rips through wedding ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan

An Afghan policeman stands guard outside the wedding hall after an explosion in Kabul Afghanistan Sunday Aug.18 2019

An Afghan policeman stands guard outside the wedding hall after an explosion in Kabul Afghanistan Sunday Aug.18 2019

A suicide bomber has blown himself up at a wedding hall in the Afghan capital Kabul, killing at least 40 people and injuring more than 100 others, local officials and witnesses say.

Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi confirmed the blast and blamed "enemies of Afghanistan" for plotting the carnage.

Witnesses said the building was packed with guests when the blast struck, as it's Afghani tradition to invite hundreds of people to weddings.

Videos on social media showed shocked women screaming and crying outside the Shahr-e-Dubai wedding hall.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, which went off in the men's reception area of a west Kabul wedding hall. He put the number of wounded in the tens and said details were being gathered.

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"Devastated by the news of a suicide attack inside a wedding hall in Kabul", Sediq Seddiqi, spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani, said in a Twitter post. Ten days ago a Taliban vehicle bomb aimed at Afghan security forces ripped through a busy west Kabul neighborhood in the same district, killing 14 people and wounding 145.

On Aug. 7, a Taliban vehicle bomb aimed at Afghan security forces detonated on the same road in a busy west Kabul neighbourhood, killing 14 people and wounding 145 - a lot of them women, children and other civilians.

That blast and this one occurred on the same road.

The explosion comes just as the U.S. and the Taliban are widely expected to sign off on a deal that would see American troops begin to depart Afghanistan in return for various security assurances from the Taliban. Previous year more than 3,800, including more than 900 children, were killed in Afghanistan by the Taliban, U.S. and allied forces, the Islamic State affiliate and other actors, the United Nations said.

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