IS suicide bomber kills dozens as Afghans celebrate Persian new year

IS suicide bomber kills dozens as Afghans celebrate Persian new year
Bodies of civilians lie on the ground at hospital after a suicide attack in front of the Kabul university. AP Photo/ Rahmat Gul

An Islamic State suicide bomber has struck on the road to a Shiite shrine in Afghanistan's capital, killing dozens as Afghans celebrated the Persian new year.

At least 29 people were killed and another 52 were wounded in the attack, which was carried out by a bomber on foot, according to the public health ministry.

The Islamic State group claimed the attack in an online statement, according to the Site Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi websites.

IS said the attack targeted "a gathering of Shiites celebrating Nauruz".

The Persian new year, known in Afghanistan as Nauruz, is a national holiday, and the country's minority Shiites typically celebrate by visiting shrines.

An injured man is moved by wheelchair at a hospital following a suicide attack in front of Kabul University. AP Photo/Rahmat Gul
An injured man is moved by wheelchair at a hospital following a suicide attack in front of Kabul University. AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

The attack took place near Kabul University and a government hospital, around one mile from the Sakhi shrine, where people were gathered to celebrate the new year, said General Daud Amin, Kabul's police chief.

He said the attacker managed to slip past police checkpoints set up along the road.

He said an investigation into the security breach is under way.

- AP

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