Gunmen in the Afghan capital of Kabul attacked a ceremony attended by opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah on Friday, killing 32 people and injuring another 58.
Women and children were among the dead, Health Ministry spokesperson Waheedullah Mayar said.
Abdullah said he heard gunfire and what he thought sounded like rocket fire, and that he managed to escape unharmed from the ceremony in Kabul’s west.
Afghan special forced have killed all three attackers involved in the assault, Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said. It’s believed that the gunmen used a high-rise building nearby to shoot at the crowd.
The event was in commemoration of the anniversary of the death of political leader Abdul Ali Mazari, who was killed by Taliban fighters in 1995. The same event was attacked last year as well, but this year’s incident was less intense.
The Taliban denied any involvement in the attack, spokesman Zabiullah Mojahid said in a media message.
Abdullah did not want to speculate who was behind the attack.
“The point is that a thorough investigation with a clear answer to the people of Afghanistan is needed,” he said.
“I will not blame anybody for this because I don’t have a full picture from our security forces, but we need to know who is, or who were, behind it.”
The attack is the first in the capital since the signing of a historic agreement in Qatar last week between the United States and the Taliban.