Bomber attacks meeting of Islamic scholars in Afghanistan

Suicide bomber targets Afghan clerics gathered calling for peace

Afghan security personnel in Kabul Afghanistan

Taliban denied any involvement in the attack.

A suicide bomber struck at one of the entrances of the compound where the meeting of the religious body, known as the Afghan Ulema Council, was taking place in the traditional tent of the Loya Jirga, or the council of elders.

Local media said that some 3,000 clerics had gathered at the tent for the meeting of the Ulema Council, Afghanistan's top religious leaders.

A spokesman for the Kabul police commandment Hashmat Stanikzai said at least seven people including a policeman were killed and nine others were wounded.

No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Elsewhere in Kabul, three civilians, including a woman, were wounded when a sticky bomb attached to their vehicle went off in the Koti Sangi area on Monday, said Hashmat Stanezai, spokesman for the Kabul police chief.

Initially, four people were reported killed but the police very soon raised the death toll to seven.

Shortly before the attack, the clerics had issued an Islamic ruling, or a fatwa, declaring that suicide attacks are "haram" - forbidden under Islamic law. It was the first time the council has issued such an appeal.

"As the war in which tens of people die on a daily basis is prolonged... then both sides, the government and the Taliban, should come to the negotiation table and put an end to the calamity".

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

"Suicide attacks, explosions for killing people, division, insurgency, different types of corruption, robbery, kidnapping and any type of violence are counted as big sins in Islam and are against the order of the Almighty Allah", they said.

The religious scholars repeated their call on the Taliban to accept the Afghan government's "unconditional" peace offer. 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.

The U.S. -led war in Afghanistan is approaching the end of its 17th year, making it the second longest conflict in American history. The US-backed government in Kabul has been found itself increasingly struggling against terrorist assaults since the withdrawal of the majority of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops in 2014.

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