As many as 14 people, including 7 religious scholars and 4 security personnel, were killed in a suicide attack targeting a gathering of top Muslim clerics near Polytechnic University in Afghanistan's capital Kabul. Thousands of clerics had gathered at the Loya Jirga tent for the meeting of the Ulema Council, Afghanistan's top religious leaders.
"At least 14 people, including 7 religious scholars and 4 security personnel killed in attack on Ulema gathering in Kabul. Three others killed are not recognized yet. 17 others are wounded," according to local media.
The suicide bomber detonated moments after the group proclaimed such attacks a sin, according to police. The incident took place at about 11.30 am (0700 GMT) in Kabul, the deadliest place all over the country.
At least 14 people, including 7 religious scholars & 4 security personnel killed in attack on Ulema gathering in Kabul. Three others killed are not recognized yet. 17 others are wounded: TOLOnews #Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/0ntQt8Ury5— ANI (@ANI) June 4, 2018
During Monday's gathering, Ulema Council termed suicide attacks a sin against Islam. They have also issued such fatwas in the past.
The Loya Jirga tent, where thousands of clerics from across Afghanistan met on Monday, is used for top religious or government gatherings. The tent is situated on the campus of Polytechnic University in Afghanistan. "Loya Jirga" means "grand assembly" in Pashto.
Afghan Interior ministry spokesperson 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. According to police spokesman Stanikzai the blast was outside the tent.
No group, however, has claimed the responsibility for the attack so far while Taliban took to Twitter and shared a post saying its fighters had "nothing to do" with the bombing.
Following the suicide blast, roads around the university were quickly blocked by security officials after the blast, with heavy traffic jams building in the city. Many fearful residents have also restricted their movements after the attack and are afraid to linger in bazaars or to become trapped in traffic during rush hour.
(With inputs from agencies)