At least 18 people were killed and thirteen wounded on Sunday in a bomb attack that occurred at a funeral in eastern Afghanistan, for the last day of a bloody year 2017 in the country.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, which provincial officials had initially attributed to a suicide bomber, before indicating that it was caused by a motorcycle bomb.
The Taliban, however, claimed on Twitter that they had nothing to do with Sunday’s attack, the last of a year that has seen civilians pay a heavy price to the guerrillas undermining their country for more than fifteen years.
“Our investigation concluded that the explosion was caused by a motorcycle bomb,” Nangarhar Governor Spokesman Attaullah Khogyani told media.
Eighteen people died and thirteen were injured, he added in a new upward balance sheet. The last reported fifteen dead and fourteen wounded.
“All the victims are civilians,” Khogyani added, adding that the attack occurred around 1:30 pm (9:00 am GMT) during the funeral of a former governor of the Haska Mina district, who died naturally.
On the scene of the attack, pools of blood witnessed the violence of the explosion, as well as a multitude of clothes and shoes scattered on the ground. A rickshaw was partially calcined in the cemetery.
Terror attack on Funeral participants
Other photos posted on social networks showed bodies lying on the ground, while a net of black smoke rose to the sky. Funeral participants, mostly elderly men, ran terrified to protect themselves.
The attack comes three days after a suicide attack in Kabul against a Shia cultural center, which left 41 dead and 84 wounded. He himself was following an attack on Christmas Day against an Afghan intelligence agency in the capital, in which six people were killed.
In eastern Afghanistan, bordering Pakistan, is the stronghold of the Islamic State, which has claimed responsibility for these two actions in Kabul.
Arriving in Afghanistan in 2015, the IS spikes more attacks in the country, while the Taliban, still responsible for the largest number of casualties, have increased their harassment against the security forces.
The year 2017 has been particularly deadly for Afghan civilians, with the number of victims appearing to be among the highest since the fall of the Taliban in 2001 and the arrival of an international coalition led by the United States. in 2014.
More than 8,000 civilians were killed or injured as a result of the conflict over the first nine months of the year, according to the UN mission in Afghanistan (Manua).
The 11,418 casualties – including some 4,500 killed – recorded in 2016 were already a record since the United Nations recorded civilian casualties in 2009.