Kabul protest explosion`s death toll climbs to 61: Official

Kabul protest explosion`s death toll climbs to 61: Official

An Afghan man weeps outside a hospital after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 23, 2016. (Reuters/Mohammad Ismail)

Kabul (ANTARA News) - At least 61 people were killed and 207 others wounded after a deadly blast hit a peaceful protest in Afghan capital of Kabul on Saturday (July 23), a health official told Xinhua.

The incident took place at around mid-day when thousands of people were holding a demonstration against change in the route of a major electricity line.

The number of the casualties may further go up as several wounded remained in critical condition, he said.

The explosion also shattered the windows of nearby buildings and houses.

Dehmazang Square was announced by the demonstrators as the center of their protest after they were prevented by security forces to march towards Pashtonistan Watt, an intersection in central Kabul near the countrys Presidential Palace.

The demonstration, held by the so-called "Enlightening Movement" protesters mainly from minority Hazaras, started on Saturday morning.

The protesters leaders were trying to set up tents and prepare the protesters to stay at night at the square before the deadly blast.

The nature of the blast still remained unknown. However, unofficial sources said the explosion was conducted by a suicide bomber.

Media reports said the Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack. The Taliban militants denied involvement in the attack.

Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah strongly condemned the attack and ordered the concerned authorities to provide best medical assistance to the victims of the deadly incident.