Iran slams terrorist attack in Kabul

Kabul has been the target of multiple suicide attacks so far this year. Public Health Ministry spokesman Wahid Majroh said the wounded were taken to different hospitals.

The council had just issued a religious edict declaring the insurgency in Afghanistan as being without religious basis and proclaiming that the suicide attacks often used by Taliban insurgents and the Islamic State are contrary to Islamic teachings.

Around 2,000 members had gathered for the Loya Jirga, or council of elders, in a traditional Afghan tent erected to host the event.

Balegh told the participants that the clerics were not in favor of foreign troops in Afghanistan and that the scholars should work for a grander convocation of religious figures to find a way to end the war.

Seven of victims were clerics who had been invited from various parts of Afghanistan by President Ashraf Ghani's government, which has been seeking to make peace with the Taliban.

Ghafor Aziz, the police chief of Kabul's 5th District, said officers were working to secure the area after the attack. It was the first time the council has issued such an appeal.

The Iranian spokesperson emphasized that the Islamic Republic would stand by the government and nation of its friendly and neighboring country of Afghanistan and would help them restore peace and security. At least 17 were injured in the attack, TOLO News reported.

The fatwa also said that killing people by any means - such as bombs and suicide attacks - as well as violent acts, including robbery and kidnapping, count as sins in Islam. "It is illegal according to Islamic laws and it does nothing but shed the blood of Muslims".

The religious scholars repeated their call on the Taliban to accept the Afghan government's "unconditional" peace offer.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid issued a statement after the attack, saying the group has no links with the explosion in Polytechnic University. The US-backed government in Kabul has been found itself increasingly struggling against terrorist assaults since the withdrawal of the majority of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops in 2014.

Though the USA formally ended the combat mission, thousands of American troops remain in Afghanistan in a counterterrorism and supporting role.

  • Rogelio Becker