"the Taliban per se is not our enemy."
Yeah, and Sarah Palin was the dumb one, right?
80 dead, 231 wounded as twin blasts strike Hazara demonstration in Kabul
KABUL: Two powerful explosions on Saturday ripped through crowds of minority Hazaras in Kabul who had gathered to protest over a power line, killing at least 80 people and leaving 231 others wounded, Afghan public health ministry said.
Islamic State group claimed responsibility for twin explosions. The bombings, apparently aimed at sowing sectarian discord in a country well known for Shia-Sunni harmony, came as thousands of Hazaras gathered to protest over a multi-million-dollar power line.
“As a result of the attack 80 people were martyred and 231 others were wounded,” the interior ministry said in a statement.
“Based on initial information, the attack was carried out by three suicide bombers... The third attacker was gunned down by security forces.”
The Taliban, who are in the middle of their annual summer offensive and are more powerful than IS, strongly denied any involvement in the attack.
IS claimed the bombings in a statement carried by its affiliated Amaq news agency, calling it an attack on Shias.
One of the march organisers Laila Mohammadi said she arrived at the scene soon after the blast and saw “many dead and wounded people”.
The attack came as thousands of demonstrators gathered to demand that a multi-million-dollar power line pass through their electricity-starved province of Bamiyan, one of the most deprived areas of Afghanistan with a large Hazara population.
“The horrific attack on a group of peaceful protestors in Kabul demonstrates the utter disregard that armed groups have for human life,” Amnesty International said in a statement.
Footage on Afghan television and photographs posted on social media showed a scene of carnage, with numerous bodies and body parts spread across the square.
Seddq Sediqqi, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, said police were working to confirm initial reports of the blast.