At least 41 people have been killed and more than 80 wounded in a suicide bomb attack in the Afghan capital, Kabul.A Shia cultural organisation was the target but the Afghan Voice news agency was also hit. So-called Islamic State said it was behind the attack.
The interior ministry shared that an explosion at the Shia centre was followed by at least two more blasts. IS has been behind a number of attacks on Shia targets across the country in recent months.
The main blast went off inside the Tabayan cultural centre, but offices of Afghan Voice are also at the location of the attack.
Students were among those who had gathered at the Shia centre for a discussion forum.
The interior ministry said the event was to mark the 38th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.The initial explosion was followed by at least two others, although the ministry said these did not cause any fatalities.
Witness, Sayed Jan, told reporters from his hospital bed: “There was a book reading event and academic discussion, and I was one of the participants. During the speech a huge bang was heard and smoke rose from inside the hall.
“My face was burning. I fell down from the chair and I saw the other colleagues around me on the ground. The smoke was everywhere.”
The Islamic State group said on its propaganda outlet Amaq that it had targeted the Shia centre with a suicide bomber and other bombs.
The Taliban had earlier issued a statement saying they were not involved.