At least 21 people were killed Tuesday in Kabul when a suicide bomber blew himself up near a gate at the Afghan Supreme Court, authorities said.
Ministry of Public Health spokesman Wahidullah Mayar said nine women were among the victims. The 41 wounded included nine women and two children, he said.
Security forces Brig. Gen. Homyaoon Aiyni told Pajhwok Afghan News the blast took place about 4 p.m. as workers were leaving for the day. Ferozuddin Feroz, Afghanistan's minister of public health, visited the scene and some of the wounded in Kabul hospitals.
"Our committed surgical & medical teams are working so hard to treat them," he said on Twitter.
Witness Dad Khuda told Reuters he rushed to the scene and found his brother, a court worker, alive.
"When I heard a bang, I rushed toward the Supreme Court's parking lot," he said.
More than 100 killed, wounded as terror attacks rock Afghanistan
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which bore signs of similar attacks by the Taliban. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the blast as a “crime against humanity." His outrage was echoed around the globe.
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul called it an "attack on the very foundation of #Afghan democracy and rule of law." Dominic Jermey, the British ambassador in Kabul, said he was "appalled by attack on those bravely working for justice."
In Washington, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said President Trump was being updated on the attack. He said National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn was in contact with Afghan officials "reaffirming our continued support."
"We condemn this cowardly attack in the strongest possible terms," Spicer said. "We also reaffirm our support for the Afghan government as they work to defend their people against the enemies of peace."
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said those responsible for the attack must face justice.
"Indiscriminate attacks against civilians, including employees of the judicial institutions, are violations of human rights and international humanitarian law and cannot be justified," he said.
Last month, more than 30 people died when explosions rocked a bus carrying security personnel near the Afghan parliament. Taliban militants claimed responsibility for that attack.
The Taliban controlled most of Afghanistan before being driven out of power following the terror attacks in the U.S. in September 2001. The group continues to carry out attacks across Afghanistan aimed at destabilizing the U.S.-backed, elected government.
The U.S. military has handed off primary responsibility for security in Afghanistan to the Afghan government, although thousands of U.S. forces remain there in mostly advisory and support roles.
Posted by Women Against Shariah on Tuesday, February 7, 2017