While the Afghan people are hoping for an impending Taliban-US agreement, an unclaimed suicide bomber killed at least 63 people and wounded 182 on Saturday night during a wedding festivities in Kabul.
"Among the victims there are women and children," said Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi, who revealed the heavy toll on Sunday morning.
This is one of the deadliest attacks since the beginning of the year in Afghanistan.
"At 22H40 (18H10 GMT) an explosion occurred in the Shar Dubai wedding hall in western Kabul," Rahimi said on Saturday night, without being able to deliver an initial assessment.
He later said it was "a kamikaze who detonated his explosives".
Taliban spokesmen denied on Sunday morning the involvement of the insurgent group.
"The Islamic Emirate (as the Taliban call it, Ed) strongly condemns the attack on civilians in Kabul.To commit such deliberate and brutal killings and target women and children have no justification", have tweeted two Taliban spokesmen.
The Afghan branch of the Islamic State (IS) group, the other terrorist group that is carrying out attacks in this country at war, has not come forward.
"I was in the women's section when I heard a huge explosion in the men's section," Mohammad Farhag, a marriage participant, told AFP.
"Everyone ran out, screaming and crying, the room was full of smoke, and almost everyone in the men's area was dead or wounded."
Marriages in Afghanistan bring together many guests in large complexes on the outskirts of the city where meals are served and where men and women, usually separated in two different rooms, dance to the sound of a band.
According to another wedding participant, interviewed by local television, some 1,200 guests participated in the celebrations. It is common in Afghanistan that a single wedding brings together several hundred guests.
On July 12, in an IS-claimed attack, at least six people were killed and fourteen wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a ceremony in Nangarhar province in eastern Iran. Afghanistan.
Early Sunday morning, burials were held in the city's cemeteries, according to local television footage.
- imminent agreement? -
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.
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.
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.
Under the proposed agreement, the United States plans to withdraw from Afghanistan the approximately 14,000 US military personnel 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