On Sunday, August 18, authorities have announced that all Independence Day celebrations, scheduled to take place on Monday, August 19, at the Dar-ul-Aman Palace will be canceled after a deadly bombing on August 17, that targeted a wedding at the Shahr-e-Dubai hall in Kabul, leaving 16 dead. The government has not announced a new date for the events.
A heightened security presence is expected in Kabul over the coming days.
On August 18, the Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing attack that killed 63 people and wounded some 182 others at the Shahr-e-Dubai wedding hall in Kabul on August 17. officials. The site of the attack is notably near Darul Aman Palace, where Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was to participate in celebrations in observance of Afghan Independence Day on August 19.
Islamic State (IS) militants have carried out dozens of attacks that have killed hundreds of Shi'a Hazara community members in Kabul and throughout Afghanistan since the group's Afghan affiliate emerged in 2014. The UN estimates that IS militants number between 2500 and 4000 in Afghanistan.
Individuals in Kabul are advised to monitor the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, liaise with their security partner, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home government.
The security environment in Afghanistan remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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