Kabul: Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah on Friday escaped a shooting that took place shortly after he spoke at a public event here, a government official said, adding 18 people were injured in the attack.
Abdullah, former President Hamid Karzai, the head of the High Peace Council Mohammad Karim Khalili, Second Deputy Chief Executive Mohammad Mohaqiq and a number of other politicians attended the event that was held to mark the 25th anniversary of the death of Abdul Ali Mazari, leader of the Hezb-e Wahdat party, reports TOLO News.
Mazari, a Shia Hazara leader, was killed on this day by the Taliban in 1995.
The attack took place at 11.20 a.m., as Khalili was giving a speech.
Abdullah, Karzai, and Khalili were safe and have returned to their residence, Mohaqiq told TOLO News shortly after the incident.
The number of injured was confirmed Nusrat Rahimi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior Affairs.
The gunmen attacked the area from a nearby under-construction building.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid in a statement denied that fighters of the insurgent group were responsible for the “the attack on a gathering in Kabul city”.
In a statement, President Ashraf Ghani said he was “deeply saddened (by) the attack on civilian gathering”, Efe news reported.
He said it was a crime against humanity and an attack on the national unity of Afghanistan.
“I talked with my brothers, Abdullah Abdullah and Karim Khalili. Health officials are directed to help the injured victims. Security forces will respond strictly to the perpetrators of the attack.”
The event was also attacked last year, and at least 11 people were killed. It was claimed by the Islamic State terror group.