1. ITV Report

Dozens feared dead or wounded after explosion at Kabul wedding hall

Afghan police stand guard outside the wedding hall. Credit: AP

Dozens of people are feared dead or wounded after an explosion ripped through a wedding hall in Afghanistan’s capital, a government official said.

Hundreds of people were believed to be inside the hall in Kabul, and emergency services said that at least 20 people have been taken to hospital.

Interior ministry spokesman Nusrat Rahimi said there was no immediate information on the cause of the blast.

Both the Taliban and a local affiliate of the Islamic State group carry out bloody attacks in the city.

Dozens are feared dead in the blast Credit: Rafiq Maqbool/AP

Spokesman for Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, Sediq Seddiqi said he was "devastated" by the news before questioning: "How is it possible to train a human and ask him to go and blow himself inside a wedding?!!"

The wedding halls also serve as meeting places.

In November at least 55 people were killed when a suicide bomber sneaked into a Kabul wedding hall where hundreds of Muslim religious scholars and clerics had gathered to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.

The latest attack came a few days after the end of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, with Kabul residents visiting family and friends, and just before Afghanistan marks its 100th independence day on Monday.

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The blast comes at a greatly uncertain time in Afghanistan as the United States and the Taliban near a deal to end a nearly 18-year war.

The Afghan government has been sidelined from those discussions, and presidential spokesman Mr Seddiqi said earlier on Saturday that his government was waiting to hear the results of President Donald Trump’s meeting Friday with his national security team about the negotiations.

Top issues include a US troop withdrawal and Taliban guarantees not to let Afghanistan become a launching pad for global terror attacks.