21 March 2019
Kabul: At least six people were killed and 23 others wounded after three blasts hit New Year celebrations near a shrine in the Afghan capital Kabul on Thursday, officials said.
"Twenty-three people were wounded and six people were martyred in the explosions," government official Wahidullah Mayar was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.
The devastation happened in Police District 3 where thousands of Afghan citizens attended an event to mark Nawroz Festival celebrations falling on Thursday, which marks the Afghan New Year.
"The first blast occurred at a main square in Jamal Mina neighbourhood at 9.30 a.m. The initial blast was followed by two consecutive explosions at the area, which is called Kart-e-Sakhi," eyewitness Mohammad Jafar told Xinhua.
The blasts occurred as a large crowd was walking toward the Sakhi Shrine for the New Year festival, he said.
The bomb attacks came even as Afghan security forces beefed up security across the country for Nawroz celebrations. The shrine has been hit by terror attacks in the past.
The nature of the blasts was not known at this point. However, an official of the Ministry of Interior Affairs told the media that the blasts were caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) planted in multiple locations.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Kabul, with a population of nearly 5 million, has been hit by series of terror attacks over the past years.
On March 7, 11 civilians were killed and 95 wounded after a mortar attack targeted a gathering at an open area in Dashti Barchi in Kabul. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.