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Kabul blast: Deadly explosions at protest victim’s funeral

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Image result for Kabul blast: Deadly explosions at protest victim's funeralSuicide bombers have killed at least seven people at the funeral in Kabul of a man who died during a protest on Friday, Afghan officials say.

More than 100 were wounded in the attack, which hit the funeral of one of five people killed when police fired on a march against deteriorating security.

The chief executive of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah, survived the attack.

The latest violence comes as much of Kabul is in lockdown and amid popular anger at the government.

Officials had warned people to stay away from demonstrations, saying they might be attacked by militants. Checkpoints have been set up in central Kabul, and armoured vehicles are patrolling the streets.

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In a televised address, Mr Abdullah said three suicide bombers were among the mourners attending the funeral of a senator’s son who was killed in Friday’s protest.

He said that an investigation must determine how the attack happened. No group has said it was behind it and the Taliban denied their involvement.

President Ashraf Ghani said on Twitter: “The country is under attack. We must be strong and united.”

An injured man receives treatment at a hospital after a blast in KabulImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionThe explosions injured 118 people, the health ministry said

Rahmatullah Begana, who was at the funeral, said the first explosion went off at the start of the ceremony.

“A few minutes later, there was another explosion. I saw a lot of people on the ground covered with blood,” he said.

Another witness told AFP news agency that “people were blown to pieces”.

Anger on the streets: By Secunder Kermani, BBC News

Afghan protesters shout anti-government slogans during a protest against the governmentImage copyrightAFP

Kabul has now had three deadly incidents in four days. Residents are still reeling from the aftermath of the huge suicide attack which killed over 90 people earlier this week.

Anger at the government for not doing more to prevent that attack led to protests on Friday. Now the funeral of one of those victims has been targeted, presumably by a militant group.

A number of high-profile politicians were present at the funeral today. The fact that even they are not immune to the rising violence shows the scale of the threat in the city.

Kabul was once considered the most secure part of Afghanistan. Now it seems the most dangerous.

Friday’s protest followed a bomb attack on Wednesday which killed 90 people in the city’s diplomatic district.

Afghan intelligence officials have blamed the Haqqani network, a Taliban affiliate with alleged links to Pakistan.

People shout slogans at the scene of three bombings that targeted the funeral of a victim of the violent protests in KabulImage copyrightEPA
Image captionThe explosions targeted the funeral of a senator’s son
People run after an explosion during the funeral of one of the victims of the violent protests in KabulImage copyrightEPA
Image captionThe explosions were caused by three suicide bombers, the country’s chief executive said

The Taliban denied any role and there has been no comment from so-called Islamic State militants, who are usually quick to claim attacks.

More than a third of Afghanistan is now said to be outside government control.

The US has about 8,400 troops in Afghanistan, while another 5,000 from Nato allies are in the country.

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