— At least 80 people were killed and more than 231 injured in a suicide bomb attack on Saturday when a demonstration of the Hazara ethnic minority in Kabul was targeted.
The attack took place around 14:30 local time (10:00 GMT) according to Afghan television channel “Tolo”, as thousands of Afghans gathered to protest against a government electricity project that excludes a province of the Hazaras, who are mostly followers of the Shiite branch of Islam.
Islamic State group claimed responsibility for twin explosions.
The bombings, apparently aimed at sowing sectarian discord in a country well known for Shia-Sunni harmony, came as thousands of Hazaras gathered to protest over a multi-million-dollar power line.
“As a result of the attack 80 people were martyred and 231 others were wounded,” the interior ministry said in a statement.
The blast happened in the Dehmazang area of the Afghan capital, a police source said, adding that more victims were feared.
There were three attackers involved in the attack, according to official sources cited by “Tolo”, but only one succeeded in blowing themselves up.
One of the wouldbe attackers failed in the attempt and the other was killed by members of the Afghan intelligence agency NDS.
Amnesty International said the attack “demonstrates the utter disregard that armed groups have for human life.”
The Hazara community in Afghanistan, a predominantly Sunni country where Shiites make up nine percent of the population, has been subjected to kidnappings and secratarian killings by the Taliban and other groups over the past two years.