July 24, 2016 – On Sunday, Afghanistan declared a national day of mourning, a day after at least 80 individuals were killed due to a suicide bomb attack.
Funerals were due to start peacefully in Western Kabul as grieving families collected their corpse from morgues and hospitals across the capital.
According to authorities, another 231 people were wounded (some severely) in the ISIS attack on Saturday afternoon during the march by ethnic Hazara community members, who are predominantly Shiite Muslim. ISIS regards Shiites as apostates and most Afghans are Sunni.
The Islamic extremist group has been known to exist in Afghanistan for the past year, specifically in the Nangarhar eastern province along the Pakistani border. Backed by U.S. troops, the Afghan military is planning an offensive against the positions of ISIS in Nangarhar in coming days.
Prior to the attack on Saturday, thousands of Hazaras marched through Kabul in order to demand the power line rerouting through their impoverished Bamiyan province in the central highlands.
President Ashraf Ghani’s office said that organizers of the march had been warned to stop after information was received that a terrorist attack was likely to happen.
On Sunday, Daud Naji, an Enlighten Movement member that helped organized the marches, said that they had only been told that there was a heightened risk of terror attack and had subsequently cancelled 9 of 10 planned routes.
He said that despite the ban of the government on all public demonstrations and gathering for ten days following the attack, other mourning rites and funerals would go ahead.