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Death toll from Kabul hotel blast soars to 55

Blood, hats, turbans and jackets remained littered the scene of Tuesday’s bomb blast in Kabul on Wednesday, 17 hours after it killed 55 people and injured 94 others.

The Uranos hotel where the blast occurred falls in the limits of 15th police district of capital Kabul, where two separate huge gatherings at two separate halls were underway to celebrate Miladun Nabi.

One gathering was organised by the Mualana Jalaluddin Balkhi Foundation and another by the Jammia Al Ahnaf Kabul and hundreds of ulema and common people were in attendance.

A huge blast ripped the commemoration gathering of Jameia Al Ahnaf at 6:15pm, cutting off loudspeakers when verses from the holy Quran were being recited and sent a huge plume of smoke billowing into the air.

The hall was covered in blood, with hats, jackets and turbans of the victims littering all around even after 17 hours of the blast.

Interior Ministry Spokesman Najib Danish said most of the victims were ulema, scholars and hafiz of the Quran.

“The suicide bomber had cleverly worn the explosives around his body and entered the gathering like other ordinary persons. We have launched investigation regarding the security arrangements for the gathering. Had the hotel administration contacted security officials? All these questions have to be answered,” he said.

But Mohammad Salam Bara, head of the hotel administration, said: “Yesterday, we received a call from the 15th police station and said they had received a formal letter about a gathering at the hostel. It was around 5pm when some security personnel arrived at the hotel and took the security charge.”

Rohaullah, 19, who was injured in the blast, said: “Soon after the recitation of Quran started a powerful blast took place, five of our family members were killed and wounded in the incident.”

Mualvi Syed Salah Hashami, The Abu Bakar Sedique Mosque imam, was unable to control his tears. “On who you attacked? Who did you kill? Your killed the the guests of the Prophet (PBUH).

He added: “The life of the prophet was being explained, nothing un-Islamic was taking place here.”

After the deadly attack, the Afghan government declared Wednesday as a national day of mourning. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the blast.

[Source: By Ahmad Shah Erfanyar, Pajhwok Service, Kabul, 21Nov18]

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