Death toll in ISIS attack on Kabul airport rises to 23


An ISIS suicide bomber Sunday (July 22) killed at least 23 people at the entrance to Kabul International Airport, as scores gathered to welcome home Afghan Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum from exile. [NASRULLAH ATTAR/NOORULLAH SHIRZADA/AFPTV/AFP]

KABUL -- The death toll from a suicide attack near Kabul International Airport has risen to 23, the Health Ministry said Monday (July 23).

At least 107 others were wounded in the powerful explosion Sunday (July 22), which happened as scores of Afghans were leaving the airport after welcoming home First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum from more than a year in self-imposed exile.

The Health Ministry warned that the latest toll, which initially had been 14 dead and 60 wounded, could still change.

The "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) claimed responsibility through its Amaq propaganda agency, according to the SITE intelligence monitoring group.


Relatives, colleagues and friends bury AFP driver Mohammad Akhtar at a ceremony in Kabul on July 23, 2018, a day after he was killed in a suicide attack at the Kabul airport. Akhtar, a 31-year-old father of four, was among 23 people killed in the incident. [Noorullah Shirzada/AFP]


Pedestrians walk past a banner with the image of self-exiled First Vice President Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum ahead of his arrival in Kabul July 22. [Noorullah Shirzada/AFP]


Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul is shown in October 2008. [Carl Montgomery/Flickr]

The suicide bomber was on foot, Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said, adding that civilians, including a child, and security personnel were among the casualties.

Senior Afghan government officials, political leaders and supporters had gone to the airport to greet Dostum.

He was travelling in an armoured vehicle and narrowly escaped the attack.

Dostum fled to Turkey in May 2017 after being accused of organising the rape and torture of a political rival.

He had denied the allegations and said his departure was for medical check-ups and family reasons.

Seven of Dostum's bodyguards have been convicted of the 2016 sexual assault and illegal imprisonment of Ahmad Ishchi, a former governor of Jawzjan Province.

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