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There has been another suicide attack in Kabul, this time on Afghanistan’s a top religious body. It left at least seven people dead and nine others wounded, according to reports.
The suicide bomber hit one of the main entrances to the compound where some of the top religious scholars had gathered.
The attacker struck the Afghan Ulema Council, in the traditional tent of the Loya Jirga, or the council of elders.
There has been no claim for the attack as yet, and the Taliban have denied all responsibility.
This attack was latest among the continuing line of attacks by Islamic militants on those they suspect as US allies.
Both the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Afghanistan and the Taliban are present and active in Afghanistan.
Around 2,000 Ulema had gathered for the Loya Jirga, to issue a fatwa, declaring that suicide attacks were un-Islamic and called for peace.
The explosion came as the participants were readying to leave.
The council had appealed to both the Afghan government forces and the opposing militants to halt the fighting and agree on a cease-fire. It had also called for peace negotiations. This was the first time it had issued such an appeal.
Less than an hour before the attack a senior member of the council, read out a written statement by the Ulema saying that innocent Afghan men, women and children have been the real victims in the 17-year war.
“The ongoing war in Afghanistan is illegal and has no root in Sharia (Islamic) law,” the Ulema statement read. “It is illegal according to Islamic laws and it does nothing but shed the blood of Muslims.”
“We the religious Ulema call on the Taliban to respond positively to the peace offer of the Afghan government in order to prevent further bloodshed” the statement said.
The fatwa also read that the killing of people by any means would count as grave sins.
But in so far as the militants are convinced they are fighting ‘kaffir’ invaders and it is unlikely they will desist until they see the backs of the Americans and their allies, writes an analyst on Afghan affairs.