Kabul: At least 34 people were killed and more than 100 injured on Saturday in a suicide bombing outside a bank in Jalalabad city in Afghanistan. The Sunni radical group Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the attack.
If verified, it would be the first major attack by the extremist group in the South Asian country.
The attack occurred early Saturday when dozens of people, including government officials, were waiting outside the entrance to a Kabul Bank branch to collect their salaries.
“We’ve received 33 bodies and 110 people who were wounded, including children,” said director of the health department in Nangarhar province Najibullah Kamawal.
The other fatal victim was the insurgent who detonated an explosives-rigged vest, the Afghan interior ministry said in a statement.
In a Twitter post, a spokesperson for the Taliban, Zabiullah Mujahid, condemned the bank bombing and another explosion on Saturday at a religious shrine in Jalalabad that did not cause any fatalities.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said in a televised address that the suicide attack and other criminal actions for which the IS has claimed responsibility, including decapitations and kidnappings, are “signs of a new kind of war” in the South Asian nation and a “serious threat”.
A total of 655 civilians died and 1,155 others were wounded in incidents linked to Afghanistan’s armed conflict in the first three months of 2015, according to a recent UN report.