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Gunmen attack Afghan gathering attended by senior figures

Afghan political leader Abdullah Abdullah has escaped unhurt after gunmen attacked a ceremony in the capital Kabul, that left at least 27 people dead and dozens injured.

The gathering attended by senior Afghan figures, including Chief Executive Abdullah, came under gun and rocket attack on Friday, according to his spokesman.

“The attack started with a boom, apparently a rocket landed in the area, Abdullah and some other politicians … escaped the attack unhurt,” Fraidoon Kwazoon was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said women and children were among the dead with an additional 29 wounded.

Soon after the attack, police forces and police special forces units rushed to the scene. Rahimi said special forces units are carrying out clearance operations against the attackers.

President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack, calling it “a crime against humanity.”

The Taliban denied responsibility for the attack.

Several people were killed in a similar attack, claimed by the Daesh terrorist group, on the same gathering held last year to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Shia Hazara leader Abdul Ali Mazari.

The Friday attack came less than a week after the Taliban and the US signed a deal to end the two-decade war in Afghanistan.

The agreement, signed on Saturday in Qatar, sets out a timetable for the foreign forces to quit Afghanistan within 14 months.