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Suicide bomber beats voter registration center, killing 48 in the Afghan capital



KABUL, Afghanistan – A suicide bomber killed a voter registration center in the Afghan capital Sunday and killed at least 48 people in an attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Health Ministry spokesman Wahid Majro said more than 112 people were injured and updated a previous toll on Sunday.

gene. Kabul police chief Daud Amin said the suicide bomber attacked civilians who had gathered to obtain national identity cards. The big explosion echoed through the city, shattering the windows that were miles away from the attack site, damaging several vehicles nearby. The police blocked all roads to the explosive device and only let ambulances pass by. Local television stations broadcast live footage of hundreds of distraught people who met in nearby hospitals to ask for family members.

IS declared responsible in a statement issued by its news agency Aamaq, which refers to Shiite "apostates".

Afghanistan will hold parliamentary elections in October.

Last week, three police officers responsible for guarding voter registration centers in two Afghan provinces were killed by militants, according to authorities.

The Afghan security forces have fought since the end of the US and NATO hostilities in late 201

4 against attacks by the IS affiliate and the well-established Taliban. Both groups regularly carry out attacks, with the Taliban usually targeting the terrorists. Government and security forces and IS target the country's Shiite minority.

Both groups want to establish a tough form of Islamic rule in Afghanistan and oppose democratic elections.

At least five people were killed in Afghanistan when their vehicle hit a bomb in the northern province of Baghlan. Zabihullah Shuja, spokesman for the provincial police chief, said four more people had been injured in Sunday's explosion in Puli Khomri, the province's capital.

The Taliban routinely target security forces and government officials with roadside bombs that often kill civilians.

In the northern province of Balkh, a district police officer died of his wounds after being shot dead during a battle with insurgents on Saturday, said Sher Jan Durrani, spokesman for the provincial chief of police. He said about a dozen insurgents had been killed in the ongoing battle.

Durrani identified the killed commander as Halim Khanjar, police chief of Char Bolak district.

The Taliban took responsibility for the murder.

The US Ambassador to Afghanistan condemned the attack.

"This senseless violence shows the cowardice and inhumanity of the enemies of democracy and peace in #Afghanistan," he tweeted.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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