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At least 20 wounded, many feared dead in Kabul wedding blast

At least 20 wounded, many feared dead in Kabul wedding blast”

An Afghan official said Saturday that dozens are feared dead or wounded in an explosion at a wedding hall in Kabul.

Witnesses told the BBC a suicide bomber detonated explosives during a wedding ceremony.

No individual or group has so far claimed responsibility for the deadly explosion.

Afghan weddings are epic and vibrant affairs, with hundreds or often thousands of guests celebrating for hours inside industrial-scale wedding halls where the men are usually segregated from the women and children.

These attacks come at a time when the United States are discussing a peace deal in Afghanistan, a deal that involves the Taliban giving up arms.

The attack came as the Taliban and the United States are trying to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of USA forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with Afghanistan's US-backed government.

A relative of the groom says some 1200 people had been invited to the wedding hall.

Under the expected deal on a staggered withdrawal of USA troops, the Taliban would guarantee Afghanistan would not be a sanctuary for militants to expand and plot new attacks, both sides have said. "Everyone was lying all around the hall".

"Several of our waiters were killed and wounded".

Afghan police men stand guard outside the wedding hall after the bombing.

The latest blast comes just 10 days after a huge bomb outside a Kabul police station killed at least 14 people and injured almost 150.

Messages of shock poured in on Sunday.

The European Union mission in Afghanistan condemned the blast saying those behind it were "enemies of humanity". "A heinous crime against our people; how is it possible to train a human and ask him to go and blow himself inside a wedding?!".

The Afghan government has been sidelined from those discussions, and presidential spokesman Seddiqi said earlier Saturday that his government was waiting to hear results of President Trump's meeting Friday with his national security team about the negotiations.

"We are close to our goals", the Taliban figure said, referring to the talks with the United States.

The deal would include a phased USA troop pullout in exchange for the Taliban guarantees that Afghanistan will not be used by extremist groups to attack U.S. targets.



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