A suicide attack on the office of the Afghan Voice news agency and a neighboring cultural center in the capital Kabul killed dozens on Thursday, officials and witnesses said.
Interior Ministry deputy spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said at least 40 people had been killed and 30 wounded in the blast, the latest in a series to have hit media organizations in Kabul, Reuters reported.
ISIS claimed the terrorist act in an online statement through the group's Amaq news agency.
The agency offered no evidence for the claim.
Deputy Health Minister Feda Mohammad Paikan said 35 bodies had been brought into a nearby hospital, while media showed the injured suffering serious burns.
President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman issued a statement calling the attack an “unpardonable” crime against humanity and pledging to destroy terrorist groups, according to Reuters.
“This gruesome attack underscores the dangers faced by Afghan civilians,” Reuters reported rights group Amnesty International saying in a statement from its South Asia Director, Biraj Patnaik.
“In one of the deadliest years on record, journalists and other civilians continue to be ruthlessly targeted by armed groups,” the statement added.