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Dozens Killed In Attack On Shi'ite Culture Center In Kabul


Civilians at the scene of a suicide bomb attack in Kabul on 28 December 28.

KABUL -- Afghanistan's Interior Ministry says at least 40 people have been killed and 30 wounded by multiple bomb blasts at a Shi'ite cultural center in Kabul.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called the December 28 attack a "crime against humanity" committed by terrorists.

"The terrorists have killed our people," Ghani said in a statement. "The terrorists have attacked our mosques, our holy places, and now our cultural center."

Ghani said the explosions were attacks against Islam and "all human values."

There were no immediate claims of responsibility, but a Taliban spokesman denied that the militant group was involved.

Initial reports suggested the attack had targeted the Afghan Voice news agency on the west side of the Afghan capital.

But Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said later that the blasts were aimed at the Shi'ite Tabayan cultural center near the news agency's office.

Rahimi said a suicide bomber entered the building and blew himself up during a crowded ceremony marking the 38th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Rahimi said there were two other explosions on the street outside of the building as people were gathering to help those injured by the first blast.

He said the smaller explosions outside of the building did not kill anyone.

The attack took place in western Kabul's Dasht-e Barchi neighborhood, a predominantly Shi'ite area that has been targeted in the past by Islamic State (IS) militants.

Recently, the Sunni extremist group has increased its attacks against Shi'a in Afghanistan, particularly in Kabul.

Afghan officials say more than 30 people were killed and 45 wounded by a bombing at a Shi'ite mosque in October.

Locals at the mosque reported that the death toll was much higher.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, Pajhwok, and dpa

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