Afghan Hazara groom who saw 63 dead bodies on his wedding day says he will ‘never experience happiness again’

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Hazara
Mirwais Elmi told Tolo News he would “never see happiness in my life again”

 

The Hazara groom who witnessed his wedding guests, including his brother, killed in an ISIS suicide bomb attack in Kabul says that he will never experience happiness in his life again.

Mirwais Elmi held a large wedding reception on Saturday in Kabul, however, an ISIS suicide bomber detonated a device, in a short period of time the car bomb exploded killing 63 people while 182 were heavily wounded.

The groom, Mr. Elmi, lost his brother, relatives, and friends in the attack. Meanwhile, his bride survived, but she lost 14 family members. While speaking to Afghanistan’s Tolo News, he said:

‘’My family, my bride are in shock, they cannot even speak. My bride keeps fainting. I’ve lost hope. I lost my brother, I lost my friends, I lost my relatives. I will never see happiness in my life again. I can’t go to the funerals, I feel very weak … I know that this won’t be the last suffering for Afghans, the suffering will continue.’’

ISIS, which is a Sunni extremist militant group, has confessed responsibility for the attack, that took place in an area which is heavily populated by Shia Muslims. This isn’t the first time an attack targeted on Shias has occurred. ISIS has a history of particularly targetting Hazara minorities in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Taliban has condemned the attack but Afghan officials think that the group still holds some responsibility.

‘The Taliban cannot absolve themselves of the blame for they provide a platform for terrorists,’ – Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan, said on Twitter

The blast proceeded after a bomb attack in Pakistan on Friday. The attack was on a mosque and it also killed Haibatullah Akhundzada’s, the Taliban leader, brother. The attack killed four people and 20 were wounded but someone is yet to take responsibility for the blast.

In November, 40 people died in an explosion at a wedding hall in Kabul. But that isn’t all. About three weeks ago, a Taliban suicide bomber killed 14 people and wounded another 145 in western Kabul, as per the government this attack raised serious queries about the troops’ devotion to peace despite discussions with the United States.

Negotiators from America have progressed in talks with their Taliban equivalents on an agreement, which revolves around the US troops being withdrawn from Afghanistan in terms of guaranteed security. Taliban negotiators were ready for what they thought would be the last round of talks, as stated by the officials. However, a date for a new round of discussion is yet to be decided.

Taliban have been consistently fighting to banish foreign forces and renew an Islamic state since October 2001 when they were driven out, weeks after the Sept. 11 or 9/11 attacks on the US.

US negotiators and Taliban have progressed after eight rounds of talks since last year.

President of the United States Donald Trump has made his desire for a US pullout from Afghanistan, and an end to America’s longest war public. On Friday, he was briefly informed on the negotiations by US national security advisers.

However, the government of Afghanistan is yet to be involved in the discussion because militants are unwilling to interact with an administration they see as a puppet of the US. There is concern among Afghan officials and US national security assistant, as the US fears that Afghanistan could initiate a new civil war that can lead to a return of the Taliban rule and international militants searching for a sanctuary.

According to the deal expected, the Taliban, in return for US’ withdrawal and pullout, would ensure that Afghanistan will not be a sanctuary for militants to plan new attacks, both sides have stated.

It is also expected that the Taliban will open talks regarding power-sharing with the government and agree to hold a ceasefire.  Around 20,000 foreign troops, mostly from America, are in Afghanistan due to a US-led NATO mission to train, advise and help Afghan forces.  Some of the forces from US are involved in counter-terrorism operations.

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