The Latest: Afghan president decries cultural center attack
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Latest on developments in Afghanistan (all times local):
Afghan president Ashraf Ghani has called the attack on a Shiite Muslim cultural center in Kabul a “crime against humanity.”
In a statement released by the presidential palace, Ghani says: “The terrorist have killed our people. The terrorists have attacked our mosques, our holy places and now our cultural center.”
He called them attacks as against Islam and “all human values.”
Authorities say an attack on a Shiite Muslim cultural center in the Afghan capital Kabul has left at least 35 people dead and 20 wounded.
Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish says an unknown number of suicide attackers set off an explosion outside the center before storming it. They then set off explosive devices in the basement of the building where scores of people had gathered to mark the December 1979 invasion of Afghanistan by the former Soviet Union, he said.
The center is located in the Shiite-dominated Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood in the west of the capital.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but the Islamic State group affiliate in Afghanistan has claimed several brutal attacks on Shiites in recent months in Kabul.
An Afghan official says a roadside mine has exploded, killing six children in northern Balkh province.
Dawlat Abad District Gov. Mohammad Karim said Thursday the powerful mine killed six shepherd children Wednesday ages 10, 9 and 8.
No one immediately took responsibility for the attack but Karim blames the Taliban, saying the insurgents planted the mine to target Afghan officials and security forces.
Afghanistan has the highest number of mine victims in the world, which along with other roadside bombs kill or wound an estimated 140 people every month.