Kabul, June 4: At least 14 people, including seven religious scholars and four security personnel, were killed on Monday when a suicide bomber detonated at an Ulema gathering in Kabul, said TOLO news. Three bodies hadn’t been identified while 17 others were wounded. Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said the bomber detonated his explosives as clerics left the Loya Jirga tent at Kabul Polytechnic University. The blast came soon after Afghanistan’s top religious body had issued a fatwa declaring suicide attacks “haram”, forbidden under the Islamic law.
The fatwa was issued at the gathering of the Afghan Ulema Council which includes Muslim clerics, scholars and men of authority in religion and law from across the country. At the time of the blast, there were around 2,000 council members, said media reports. The council had appealed to both the Afghan government forces and the Taliban to on a ceasefire. In a first, the council also called for peace. (Also read: Militants Kill 1, Wound Five in Attack on Interior Ministry)
According to ANI, while Kabul police spokesperson Hashmat Stanekzai confirmed the explosion, he refused to give further details. As per an eyewitness account, the explosion reportedly occurred as the attendees were leaving the event. So far, no one has taken responsibility for the attack.
Afghan interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said the death toll was expected to rise. “The attackers were on foot near the gate of the university,” he said, as quoted by Al Jazeera.com. “The gathering had just finished and the clerics were coming out of the tent when the suicide bomber went off,” it said. “They had just come to an agreement saying that suicide bombing was unIslamic.” The New Indian Express had an AP story that said Ghofranullah Murad, a member of the council, read out a written statement from the gathering that said innocent Afghan men, women and children were the victims of war.