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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Wedding Celebrations Face Terrorist Threats in Afghanistan

Counterterrorism & Security

7Dnews London

Tue, 20 Aug 2019 18:30 GMT

A deadly terror attack which occurred last Saturday has cast a shadow of fear over Afghanistan's wedding industry, given the rising threats of terrorist attacks which target these celebrations in the country, AFP reported on Tuesday, August 20th.

Saturday's attack, for which Isis claimed responsibility, left 63 dead and more than 130 injured when an explosion hit a wedding celebration in western Kabul.

As violence rages through Afghanistan, lavish weddings offer a rare opportunity for celebration. But now, even these are under threat.

"Wedding halls were one of the few businesses that were still functioning relatively well despite all the problems," said Ghulam Sakhi Sultani, one of the Shahr-e-Dubai's three owners.

"It will be hard to regain the trust of the people to hold mass weddings inside a wedding hall following this attack."

While Afghan weddings have been targeted in the past, attacks have typically focused on smaller functions away from the capital.

"We fear the terrorists may have chosen mass wedding gatherings as their new targets," said Sultani, who was out of the country when the bombing happened. Ten of his staff were killed or injured.

"Today, most of them did not show up. When we contacted them, they said they fear for their lives."

In a city where bombs go off almost daily, and crime is rampant, Kabul weddings typically don't have any security measures at all, and the halls themselves often have few emergency exits.