Al-Jazeera correspondent in Afghanistan quoted a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior as saying that 35 civilians were killed, including women and children, and that 50 others were wounded, and two of the attackers were killed in a shooting that targeted the memory of the assassination of the Shiite leader Abdul-Ali Mazari in the capital, Kabul.
Several political figures were attending the ceremony, among them the President of the Executive Authority Abdullah Abdullah.
The Ministry of the Interior confirmed to reporters earlier that “all prominent officials have been safely evacuated from the scene.”
This is the first attack in Kabul since the United States signed an agreement with the Taliban on withdrawing from the country.
The Taliban, through its spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, denied that their militants were involved in the attack. ISIS’s Amaq News Agency said on its channel on Friday, the Telegram website, that the organization claimed responsibility for the attack.
President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack, which he considered a “crime against humanity.”
The same ceremony last year targeted a mortar attack claimed by ISIS, leaving at least 11 people dead.
The attack comes less than a week after the United States and the Taliban signed an agreement paving the way for a full withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan within 14 months.
US President Donald Trump on Friday raised the possibility that the movement will regain power after the withdrawal of US forces.
“It is not supposed to happen, but this is a possibility,” Trump said.