Suicide blast targets gathering of top clerics in Afghanistan's Kabul
At least fourteen people were killed when a motorcycle suicide bomber detonated near a gathering of top clerics in Afghanistan's Kabul, shortly after they called such attacks a sin, police said on Monday.
"Our initial information shows that the suicide attack took place when guests were exiting the tent" where the meeting was being held at around 11.30 am (0700 GMT), police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai told local broadcaster Tolo News.
The bomb killed seven clerics, four security officers and three people whose identities were unknown, a senior government official said.
The attacker detonated outside the tent, known as the Loya Jirga tent, where gatherings of top clerics and government officials are often held, Stanikzai said.
Local media said some 3,000 clerics had gathered at the tent for the meeting of the Ulema Council, Afghanistan's top clerics.
Earlier they issued a fatwa against the ongoing conflict in the country, terming suicide attacks a sin against Islam.
"The ongoing war in Afghanistan does not have a legal base, only Afghans are the victims of this war... (it) does not have religious, national or human value," they said, according to government officials.
A series of bombings in Kabul has killed dozens of people in recent months and shown no sign of easing during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which underlines deteriorating security ahead of parliamentary and district council elections set for October 20.
The Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for many attacks in Kabul but security officials say several are much more likely to be the work of the Haqqani network, a group affiliated with the Taliban.