Explosion Near Clerics Gathering Leaves Seven Dead

Kabul: At least 12 dead in suicide blast near cleric gathering

Kabul: At least 12 dead in suicide blast near cleric gathering

Hours before the bombing, the council issued an Islamic ruling, or a fatwa, declaring that suicide attacks are "haram", forbidden under Islamic law.

The blast occurred at an exit from Kabul Polytechnic University, where the convocation of the Afghan Ulema Council was winding up. The Islamic State group has also claimed responsibility for several attacks in the capital.

"The suicide attack happened outside the (Loya Jirga) tent when religious scholars were leaving the gathering", Kabul Police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai said.

Najib Danish, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said the fatalities included one policeman.

Afghan security officials say a suicide bomb explosion hit a gathering of the country's top religious body in Kabul, killing at least seven people and wounding nine.

"On a day that clerics from all Afghan cities had gathered to speak about peace in Afghanistan and the condemnation of terror and violence in this country, the dirty hands of warmongering terrorists committed another crime", Qassemi said on Monday.

The myriad attacks in the last 12 months included two of the deadliest in the city since the United States invasion: a truck bomb on May 31, 2017 that killed more than 150 people, and an ambulance bomb on January 27 this year which killed more than 100. "It is illegal according to Islamic laws and it does nothing but shed the blood of Muslims." the statement said.

"As the war in which tens of people die on a daily basis is prolonged... then both sides, the government and the Taliban, should come to the negotiation table and put an end to the calamity".

"The ongoing war in Afghanistan is illegal and has no root in Sharia (Islamic) law", the statement said.

"We the religious Ulema call on the Taliban to respond positively to the peace offer of the Afghan government in order to prevent further bloodshed in the country", it added.

Even the capital city of Kabul is practically under siege, with heavy casualty attacks happening disturbingly often. The US-backed government in Kabul has been found itself increasingly struggling against terrorist assaults since the withdrawal of the majority of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops in 2014.

The U.S. -led war in Afghanistan is approaching the end of its 17th year, making it the second longest conflict in American history.

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