Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has blamed ISIL for Saturday’s (April 18) suicide bombing in the eastern city of Jalalabad. Ghani condemned the attack as a “cowardly and heinous terrorist act.”
Shahidullah Shahid, who claims to be a spokesman for IS, said online that the militant group was behind the blast. Before joining IS, Shahid was a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban.
If confirmed, the deadly attack would mark the first time ISIL has struck inside Afghanistan.
At least 33 people were killed when a suicide bomber targeted a bank where government workers collect their salaries.
Over a hundred others were injured and survivors were taken to nearby Nangarhar Provincial Hospital in central Jalalabad.
Afghan National Army officer Shir Aqha narrowly escaped the blast and was at the hospital being treated for minor injuries.
“I had received my salary, I was not in the line, then a motorbike came in and I think a man in a suit went into the crowd and detonated his explosives,” he said. “I heard two explosions. I can’t remember what happened after that.”
Children and civilians were among the victims. Doctors say that those who were critically injured will be transfered to a military hospital in the capital Kabul.