Kabul attack: Gunmen kill at least 32 at memorial for Shiite Afghan leader

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on its website.
Image: Afghan security forces arrive at the site of an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan
Afghan security forces arrive at the site of the attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Friday. Omar Sobhani / Reuters

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By Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan — Gunmen have killed 32 people and wounded at least 29 in attack on Shiite leader's memorial in the capital, Kabul, an Afghan officials said Friday.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on its website. The group has declared war on Afghanistan's Shiites, and many of those at the ceremony were from the minority Shiite sect.

The Taliban said they were not involved in the attack, which came less than a week after the U.S. and the group signed an ambitious peace deal that lays out a path for the withdrawal of American forces from the country.

Wahidullah Mayar, spokesman for the Ministry of Health, said the casualties had been sent to local hospitals.

Nusrat Rahimi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, added that clashes with the gunmen were still ongoing in nearby.

Several prominent political leaders escaped the ceremony unhurt, including Abdullah Abdullah, a top contender in last year's presidential election.

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Friday's ceremony was held in the mostly Shiite Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood of the capital, Kabul.

The memorial marked 25 years since the death of Abdul Ali Mazari, the leader of Afghanistan's minority ethnic Hazaras, who are mostly Shiite Muslims.

He was killed in 1995 by the Taliban as they moved to take control of Kabul, which had been destroyed by a brutal civil war among mujahedeen groups, including Mazari's.