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    Saturday, June 3, 2017

    At least 19 people killed in blasts near funeral in Kabul



    A series of blasts in Kabul on Saturday killed at least 19 people at a funeral for one of the victims of clashes between police and protesters a day before.
    The latest explosions continued a wave of violence in the capital since a devastating truck bomb on Wednesday.
    Saturday’s blasts shattered an uneasy calm which had descended after authorities blocked the streets of Kabul in a bid to prevent a repeat of the bloody confrontation between protesters and police on Friday.
    The violence, fuelled by public anger over the inability of President Ashraf Ghani’s divided government to ensure security in Kabul, has exacerbated political tensions between rival factions, and Ghani issued a call for unity.
    “The country is under attack,” Ghani said in a message on Twitter. “We must be strong and united.”
    Kabul’s Italian-run Emergency Hospital, which has treated a stream of wounded over the past few days, said 19 people had been reported killed and 16 wounded had been brought to the hospital.
    The interior ministry said there were six dead and 87 wounded.
    Government Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah was at the funeral but was unharmed, while survivors said a series of explosions had ripped through the crowd, most of whom appeared to be linked to Abdullah’s mainly Tajik Jamiat-e-Islami party.
    The Taliban, which has often carried out bomb attacks in the past, issued a swift denial that it had any role and instead blamed factional rivalries in the government’s own camp, the group’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.
    Saturday’s blasts occurred at the funeral of the son of the deputy Senate speaker, Mohammad Alam Izadyar, an ethnic Tajik ally of Abdullah. He died after being seriously injured in clashes during Friday’s protest.
    Pakistan’s condemnation 
    Pakistan, in a statement, strongly condemned the terrorist attack at the funeral of Salam Izdyar, saying that such attacks are against human values and deserve utmost condemnation in every possible way.
    The Foreign Office said that the government and the people Pakistan express their heartfelt sympathies and deepest condolences to Afghanistan and to the bereaved families in this hour of grief.  Reuters (With additional input from our correspondent) 
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