Afghanistan explosion: Shia organisation hit in Kabul

BREAKING NEWS: 40 people killed in Kabul after bomb goes off at ceremony to mark the 38th anniversary of the

The attack occurred during a morning panel discussion on the 38th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Isis has claimed responsibility for a coordinated bomb attack on a Shia cultural centre in the Afghan capital Kabul, according to its propaganda channel Amaq.

A spokesman for the public health ministry, Waheed Majroh, said blasts left at least 41 people dead and 84 injured. It added that a suicide bomber wearing a vest carried out the attack, which was followed by three other bomb blasts in the same area.

"With journalists amongst the casualties, this act of violence is clearly also an attack against freedom of expression and democracy in Afghanistan", the European Union said on its website.

Ten people were also killed in a suicide bomb attack near the compound of Afghanistan's intelligence agency in Kabul on Monday.

"Many of them have been burnt, some of them have lost body parts", said Saber Naseeb, head of Istiqlal hospital. In August, 31 people were killed in a terrorist attack on a Shiite mosque in Herat, a city close to the Iran border.

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A survivor quoted by local media said that at least one of the blasts went off as people convened at an Iranian-funded social and cultural activity centre for a meeting.

The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan called the attack "another truly despicable crime in a year already marked by unspeakable atrocities".

As The Times pointed out, Kabul has seen a host of deadly terrorist attacks throughout the past few years.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid issued a statement on Twitter earlier denying involvement.

Backed by the heaviest United States air strikes since the height of the global combat mission in Afghanistan, Afghan forces have forced the Taliban back in many areas and prevented any major urban centre from falling into the hands of insurgents.

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