Death toll in terrorist attack in Kabul rises to 20 people

Afghan security forces inspect the scene of the suicide attack in Kabul Afghanistan

Afghan security forces inspect the scene of the suicide attack in Kabul Afghanistan

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The attack happened during a protest against the death of a shopkeeper in a police operation targeting alcohol bootleggers, an unnamed official said.

"We can confirm that so far 11 bodies have been brought to our hospitals as well as 25 wounded", the AFP news agency quoted Health Ministry spokesman Wahid Majroh as saying on January 4.

Initial reports immediately after the blast put the death toll at six officers but police official said that by Friday morning, the number of those killed had significantly increased.

"He detonated his vest very close to police who were trying to stop the protesters", Mujahid told AFP.

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Kabul has suffered repeated suicide attacks in recent weeks.

In December alone IS claimed three attacks that killed dozens of civilians.

The United States condemned a "barbaric" attack on a Shiite cultural centre in Afghanistan that killed 41 people and vowed to "work closely" with the Afghan government to hunt down the terrorists.

The IS group has gained ground in Afghanistan since it first appeared in the region in 2015 and has scaled up its attacks in Kabul, including on security installations and the country's Shiite minority.

USA forces led an invasion to drive Taliban extremists from power after Al-Qaeda militants whose leaders were sheltering in Afghanistan carried out the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

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