Death toll from Kabul suicide attack rises to 13

Death toll from Kabul suicide attack rises to 13

The death toll from an Islamic State-claimed suicide attack in Kabul has risen to 13, officials said Friday, adding to the carnage caused by the militant group in the Afghan capital.

Thursday evening's blast targeted police as they clashed with angry protesters following a raid on shopkeepers accused of illegally peddling drugs and alcohol.

"At this time a suicide bomber detonated himself among the crowd, killing and injuring dozens," Kabul police spokesman Abdul Basir Mujahid said.

All of the dead were police. Among the 18 wounded were 16 officers and two civilians, deputy interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi told reporters.

"The bomber came from among the protesters and targeted our police forces," Rahimi said, adding the attacker was wearing civilian clothes.

The blast stripped bark from trees and shattered windows of nearby apartments, underscoring the devastating force of a single suicide bomber.  

The IS group has gained ground in Afghanistan since it first appeared in the region in 2015 and has scaled up its attacks in Kabul, including on security installations and the country's Shiite minority.

Thursday's assault was the first major attack carried out by IS militants in Kabul this year, but follows a series of deadly ambushes in the capital in recent weeks.

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