An attack on a wedding party left at least 20 injured Saturday night in western Kabul, authorities and hospitals said, but the toll could be much heavier, a witness claiming to have seen several deaths.
"I was in the women's section when I heard a huge explosion in the men's section," a marriage participant, Mohammad Farhag, told AFP.
"Everyone ran out, screaming and crying, the room was full of smoke, almost everyone in the men's section died or wounded, and two hours after the explosion, they still leave bodies," said this witness, contacted by telephone.
The authorities have not yet provided a report. Only emergencies in Kabul hospitals reported admitting 20 wounded. But images shared by the Ministry of the Interior, showing several bodies lying on the ground, make fear a much heavier balance sheet.
Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said only that "at 22:40 (18:10 GMT) an explosion occurred in the Shar Dubai wedding hall in western Kabul".
The attack was not immediately claimed.
"This explosion is a clear sign that terrorists can not see the Afghans express their happiness, you can not force them to bow down by killing them," tweeted a government spokesman, Feroz Bashari.
- An easy target -
Afghan marriages, for which several hundred guests gather, are an easy target for terrorist acts.
On July 12, at least six people were killed and fourteen wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a ceremony in Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State Jihadist organization, which has a growing presence in the region.
Saturday's attack comes as the Afghan population, exasperated by indiscriminate violence, hopes for an agreement between the United States and the Taliban that would pave the way for peace talks between the Afghan government and the group. insurgent.
Several US sources have been suggesting in recent days that an agreement may be imminent, but there are still some issues to be resolved.
US President Donald Trump praised the "very good meeting" on Afghanistan he held on Friday with his closest advisers and ministers.
"Many in the opposite camp of this 19-year-old war, and ourselves, are considering an agreement - if possible!", Tweeted Mr. Trump.
Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, head of the US negotiating team, could return to the region in the coming days to continue or even finalize the negotiations.
Under the proposed agreement, the United States would begin withdrawing from Afghanistan about 14,000 US troops deployed there.
Trump has been saying since the beginning of his presidency that he wants US troops to leave the country, where Washington has spent more than $ 1 trillion on military operations and reconstruction since 2001.
In return for the US withdrawal, the Taliban would make a number of security commitments, particularly that Islamist militias, which have long hosted Al Qaeda, would not allow Afghanistan to become a shelter for the jihadists.
© 2019 AFP