Herald Citzen
 LATEST NEWS
 Top Stories
 U.S.
  Severe Weather
  Bird Flu
 World
  Castro
  Mideast Crisis
  Iraq
 Business
 Personal Finance
 Technology
 Sports
  Sports Columns
  NASCAR
  Baseball
  College Hoops
  NBA
  NHL
  Tennis
  Golf
 Entertainment
 Health
 Science
 Politics
 Washington
 Offbeat
 Podcasts
 Blogs
 Weather
 Raw News
 NEWS SEARCH
 
 Archive Search
 SPECIAL SECTIONS
 Multimedia Gallery
 AP Video Network
 Today
 in History
 Corrections
Apr 22, 10:01 AM EDT

Islamic State suicide bomber kills 57 in Afghan capital


AP Photo
AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

Latest News
Islamic State suicide bomber kills 57 in Afghan capital

The Latest: Toll from Kabul bombing climbs to 57 dead

Afghan, Pakistani forces clash near border, 2 killed

Pakistan students pray for victims of airstrike in Kunduz

Memory boxes capture Afghans' pain of war, attempt to heal

Multimedia
US troops spending Christmas

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- A suicide bomber struck a voter registration center in the Afghan capital on Sunday, killing at least 57 people in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group.

Public Health Ministry spokesman Wahid Majro said another 119 people were wounded in Sunday's attack, updating an earlier toll. Gen. Daud Amin, the Kabul police chief, said the suicide bomber targeted civilians who had gathered to receive national identification cards.

The large explosion echoed across the city, shattering windows miles away from the attack site and damaging several nearby vehicles. Police blocked all roads to the blast site, with only ambulances allowed in. Local TV stations broadcast live footage of hundreds of distraught people gathered at nearby hospitals seeking word about loved ones.

Majro said there were five small children and 21 women among the dead. More than a dozen children and nearly 50 women were wounded, he said, adding that the tolls could still rise.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility in a statement carried by its Aamaq news agency, saying it had targeted Shiite "apostates."

Afghanistan will hold parliamentary elections in October.

Last week, three police officers responsible for guarding voter registration centers in two Afghan provinces were killed by militants, according to authorities.

Afghan security forces have struggled to prevent attacks by the Islamic State affiliate as well as the more firmly established Taliban since the U.S. and NATO concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014. Both groups regularly launch attacks, with the Taliban usually targeting the government and security forces, and IS targeting the country's Shiite minority.

Both groups want to establish a harsh form of Islamic rule in Afghanistan, and are opposed to democratic elections.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, at least five people were killed when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in the northern Baghlan province. Zabihullah Shuja, spokesman for the provincial police chief, said four other people were wounded in Sunday's blast in Puli Khomri, the capital of the province.

The Taliban routinely target security forces and government officials with roadside bombs, which often end up killing civilians.

In the northern Balkh province, a district police chief died of his wounds after being shot Saturday during a gunbattle with insurgents, according to Sher Jan Durrani, spokesman for the provincial police chief. He said around a dozen insurgents were also killed in the battle, which is still underway.

Durrani identified the slain commander as Halim Khanjar, police chief for the Char Bolak district.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the killing.

---

Associated Press writer Maamoun Youssef in Cairo contributed to this report.

© 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.