Afghan Clerics Issue Joint Fatwa, Call Ongoing War 'Illegal'

Kabul: At least 12 dead in suicide blast near cleric gathering

A suicide bomber killed 14 people Monday outside a key meeting in Kabul of Afghanistan's top religious figures that had just condemned suicide attacks as violations of Islam.

Afghan security forces keep watch at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan June 4, 2018. It later said a total of 18 people were wounded in the explosion.

Most of the casualties were civilians.

On May 30, it was the turn of the Interior Ministry to be targeted. Two policemen were wounded, he added.

Waheed Majrooh, a spokesman for Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health, told Al Jazeera that at least 12 wounded were transfered to emergency units.

About 2,000 members of the council had gathered for the meeting at the Grand Council tent erected in the Afghan capital's 5th District. The bomb went off as the meeting was ending and attendees were preparing to leave.

Earlier on Monday, the council had issued an Islamic ruling, or "fatwa", against suicide attacks, branding them "haram", or forbidden, by Islam.

The Iranian spokesperson emphasized that the Islamic Republic would stand by the government and nation of its friendly and neighboring country of Afghanistan and would help them restore peace and security.

Almost half all children in Afghanistan are out of school due to conflict, poverty, child marriage and discrimination against girls, the number rising for the first time since 2002, humanitarian organizations said in a report on Sunday.

Less than an hour before the attack happened, Ghofranullah Murad, a member of the council, read out a written statement from the gathering saying that innocent Afghan men, women and children are the true victims of the 17-year-long war.

"War in all its types is illegal according to Sharia and Islamic laws and it is nothing but shedding the blood of Muslims", the religious scholars said in the fatwa, according to Afghan news channel Tolo News.

"A suicide bomber detonated the explosives he was carrying on a road leading to the site of the gathering... and according to initial reports and information seven people have been killed", Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanekzai said in a statement.

It also asked Taliban to join the peace process, offered by President Ashraf Ghani "in order to prevent further bloodshed in the country".

Elsewhere in Kabul, three civilians, including a woman, were wounded when a sticky bomb attached to their vehicle went off in the Koti Sangi area on Monday, said Hashmat Stanezai, spokesman for the Kabul police chief.

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