As hundreds of Afghan adults and children celebrated a wedding—dancing, clapping and rejoicing—a suicide bomber stood amidst it all. In an instant, he triggered the detonator on his explosive vest and succeeded in killing dozens. Once again Afghanistan nationals are grieving.
Taking credit for what proved to be the deadliest such attack within the capital so far this year was a local Islamic State affiliate. With a reported estimate of 63 killed and 182 wounded, Afghans once again begin to question their safety. An approaching deal, carved out between the Taliban and the United States, to end the longest war America has participated in, is drawing near.
But first, the dead had to be buried, and the stunned survivors did so, some digging with their bare hands. One wounded survivor, Mohammid Aslim, was spotted the day after the blast that ripped through the celebration Saturday, still wearing his blood-stained clothing. He, along with close friends, had buried 16 bodies at that time, some close relatives—one of which included a boy only seven years old. Mohammed cried: “I wish I could find the pieces of my son’s body and put them as one piece into the grave.”
The recent emergence of the Islamic State (IS) Affiliate in the past few years could very well prove to be a significant threat to Afghan residents, in the shadow of an agreement between the US and the Taliban to possibly end their nearly 18 years of fighting. The US is demanding that the Taliban assure them that global terror attacks will not long be launched from Afghanistan. However, there seem to be no guarantees put into place that could offer protection for the civilians themselves.
The US is putting its hopes on the fact that the Taliban can deter the rise of the IS affiliates, with the Taliban calling Saturday's attack "forbidden and unjustifiable."
According to the owner of the event hall where the suicide bombing took place, Hussain Ali, the wedding celebration included an estimated 1,200 partiers and was a somewhat mixed crowd of both Shiites and Sunnis. At the time of the report, Ali's workers stated they were still finding body parts strewn through the wedding hall.
Also scattered amongst the floor were jagged pieces of broken glass, demolished pieces of furniture, and the various shoes of the victims of the explosion. Ali stated that he had informed the police to come and collect the body parts that had been found so far.
So, what’s the verdict—you decide.
Was this a random bombing, or one that was calculated to send a message?
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