An explosion ripped through a wedding party in Afghanistan capital Kabul, leaving 63 people dead and 182 injured.
More than 1,000 people had been invited, one witness said, as fears grew that it could be the deadliest attack in Kabul this year.
The attacker set off explosives among the wedding participants, Interior Ministry spokesman Nusrat Rahimi told the Associated Press. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.
A witness said the blast occurred near the stage where musicians were and "all the youths, children and all the people who were there were killed."
Outside a local hospital, families wailed. Others were covered in blood.
The blast at the Dubai City wedding hall in western Kabul, a part of the city that many in the minority Shiite Hazara community call home, shattered a period of relative calm. On Aug. 7, a Taliban car bomb aimed at Afghan security forces detonated on the same road, killing 14 people and wounding 145 — most of them women, children and other civilians.
Kabul’s huge, brightly lit wedding halls are centers of community life in a city weary of decades of war, with thousands of dollars spent on a single evening.
“Devastated by the news of a suicide attack inside a wedding hall in Kabul. A heinous crime against our people; how is it possible to train a human and ask him to go and blow himself (up) inside a wedding?!!” Sediq Seddiqi, spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani, said in a Twitter post.
The wedding halls also serve as meeting places, and in November at least 55 people were killed when a suicide bomber sneaked into a Kabul wedding hall where hundreds of Muslim religious scholars and clerics had gathered to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The Taliban denied involvement in an attack that bore the hallmarks of the Islamic State affiliate.