KABUL - A suicide bomber blew himself up in a banqueting hall where Islamic religious scholars had gathered in the Afghan capital Kabul on Tuesday, killing more than 50 people, three government officials said.
Najib Danish, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said more than 80 other people had been injured.
“A suicide bomber detonated his explosives inside a wedding hall where Islamic religious scholars had gathered to commemorate the anniversary of the Prophet Mohammad’s birth,” Danish said.
The banquet room is in the Uranus wedding hall, a complex housing several large reception rooms near Kabul airport.
“Hundreds of Islamic scholars and their followers had gathered to recite verses from the holy Quran to observe the Eid Milad-un-Nabi festival at the private banquet hall,” said a spokesman for Kabul police.
Officials at Kabul’s Emergency Hospital said 30 ambulances had rushed to the scene and over 40 people were critically wounded.
Both the Sunni Taliban militant group and a local Islamic State affiliate have in the past attacked religious scholars aligned with the government — who have decreed that suicide attacks are forbidden by Islam.