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Taliban rejects involvement in the attack on religious scholars in Kabul

Taliban rejects involvement in the attack on religious scholars in Kabul

The Loya Jirga tent where thousands of clerics from across Afghanistan were meeting is on the campus.

Waheed Majrooh, a spokesman for Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health, told Al Jazeera that at least 12 wounded were transfered to emergency units.

The Taliban recently issued a warning for civilians to "keep away" from military and intelligence centres in Kabul as they were planning more attacks.

The explosion struck as the council was ending and the participants were about to leave, Mr Aziz said.

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The sources added that 17 others were wounded.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which underlines deteriorating security ahead of parliamentary and district council elections set for October 20.

In February, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani offered to allow the Taliban to establish itself as a political party and said he would work to remove sanctions on the militant group, among other incentives, if it joined the government in peace negotiations.

Earlier on Monday, the council had issued an Islamic ruling, or "fatwa", against suicide attacks, branding them "haram", or forbidden, by Islam.

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"The ongoing war in Afghanistan is illegal and has no root in Sharia (Islamic) law".

The fatwa also said that killing people by any means - such as bombs and suicide attacks - as well as violent acts, including robbery and kidnapping, count as sins in Islam.

The council had just issued a religious edict declaring the insurgency in Afghanistan as being without religious basis and proclaiming that the suicide attacks often used by Taliban insurgents and the Islamic State are contrary to Islamic teachings.

A series of bombings in Kabul has killed dozens of people in recent months and shown no sign of easing during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

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The attack happened at the main entrance of a sprawling compound where about 2,000 Muslim clerics had gathered to deliberate on the current war and attacks by the Taliban and the Islamic State, which are battling the Afghan government and USA and other foreign troops in the country. In the rest of the country, Taliban militants are renewing their push for territory against western-backed Afghan troops and ISIS fighters are trying to carve out influence of their own.


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