Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

Explosion Near Clerics Gathering Leaves Seven Dead

People gather outside a voter registration center which was attacked by a suicide bomber in Kabul Sunday At Least 14 Killed by Blast Near Gathering of Afghan Clerics in Kabul – Police
Deanna Wagner | 04 June, 2018, 19:16

The bomber detonated his explosives near the entrance of a compound where over 2,000 religious scholars were meeting in the tent of the Loya Jirga, the council of elders, close to the Kabul Polytechnic University immediately after the clerics issued a fatwa against suicide bombings, the Afghan media reported. The clerics were meeting in a traditional tent.

"According to our initial information, seven people have been killed including a policeman".

Taliban denied any involvement in the attack.

Shortly before the attack struck, the clerics had issued a fatwa, or religious ruling, against suicide bombings and urged peace talks to end the Afghan war.

"We are giving a verdict for the immediate cessation of the war and that suicide attacks are illegal in Islam", Khoda Bakhsh Mohseni, a member of the government-appointed council, told the attendees.

The Taliban often claim their fight against the foreign forces and their followers in the country is a holy war.

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The Ulema Council - seen by the militants as having some links to the government - termed suicide attacks and explosions "haram", or prohibited in Islam. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. They have issued such fatwas in the past. "It is illegal according to Islamic laws and it does nothing but shed the blood of Muslims".

In February, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani offered to allow the Taliban to establish itself as a political party and said he would work to remove sanctions on the militant group, among other incentives, if it joined the government in peace negotiations. The group has not officially responded, but deadly attacks have proliferated since then, particularly in Kabul.

Kabul accounted for 16 percent of all civilian casualties previous year, when 1,831 civilians were killed or wounded nationwide, according to the United Nations.

Suicide attacks in Afghanistan are frequently condemned as fanatical and immoral, especially when civilians are killed, but insurgents view the tactic as their most effective weapon.

Many fearful residents have restricted their movements as a result, afraid to linger in bazaars or to become trapped in traffic during rush hour, a prime time for attacks.