Workers of a wedding hall inspect after a blast in Kabul. Mohammad Ismail/Reuters
At least 63 people were killed and 182 wounded in an explosion targeting a wedding in the Afghan capital, authorities said Sunday.
The blast, which took place late Saturday in west Kabul, came as Washington and the Taliban are in the final stages of a deal to reduce the US military presence in Afghanistan. The Taliban denied any involvement in the attack.
Interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi provided the toll, which is the highest in Kabul in recent months.
"Among the wounded are women and children," Rahimi said.
Afghan weddings are epic and vibrant affairs, with hundreds or often thousands of guests celebrating inside industrial-scale wedding halls where the men are usually segregated from the women and children.
Mohammad Farhag, who had been at the wedding, told AFP he had been in the women's section when he heard a huge blast in the men's area.
"Everyone ran outside shouting and crying," he said.
"For about 20 minutes the hall was full of smoke. Almost everyone in the men's section is either dead or wounded."
Two hours after the blast, he said bodies were still being removed from the hall.
Insurgents have periodically struck Afghan weddings, which are seen as easy targets because they frequently lack rigorous security precautions.
Five employees of the ministry of mines and petroleum were killed and 10 wounded in the bus attack, the officials said, adding that seven people were killed and more than 20 wounded in the second explosion.
A car bomb apparently targeted at a convoy of vehicles belonging to an international organization exploded in Kabul on Friday, killing or wounding at least seven people, officials said, the second attack in the Afghan capital in two days.
The events started with the detonation of a sticky bomb — a growing menace in Kabul, where insurgents and criminals slap magnetic bombs on the underside of vehicles.
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Officials earlier said three persons had died in the mishap, while four others were shifted to a hospital. With four more casualties, the death toll had increased to seven the victims included two women.