ATTENTION: PICTURE CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT Injured persons lay on the ground after a bomb exploded during a demonstration in Kabul, Afghanistan, 23 July 2016.
Photograph: EPA/STRINGER

Follow up article

Update 17:30 

The Afghan Interior Ministry says the death toll in the Kabul bombing has risen to 80.

At least 231 people were wounded after two suicide bombers targeted a peaceful demonstration in Kabul's Dehmazang Square on Saturday.

Two attackers detonated their suicide vests, while "one was killed by Afghan security forces," said the ministry statement.  

Earlier, the Health Ministry said 64 people had been killed and 265 were wounded.

The Islamic State extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Update 14:55  - Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack

At least 61 people were killed and 207 wounded when twin explosions hit a large demonstration in Kabul, an Afghan official says. 

"We expect the numbers to rise unfortunately," Health Ministry spokesman Ismail Kawusi added. 

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, writing on the group-affiliated Aamaq News Agency that two of their fighters detonated explosive belts at the demonstration, which took place in the Dehmazang area of Kabul.

Update: 14:40

The protest was being held in connection to CASA-1000, a project to build a 1,222-kilometre power transmission line to transport electricity from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan through the country to Pakistan and India.

Much of the city center had been sealed off with stacks of shipping containers and other obstacles as the march began earlier on Saturday, and security was tight with helicopters patrolling overhead.

The casualties include Afghan security forces providing security for the protest, according to an email from the Afghan presidential palace.

Update 14:10 - Taliban rejects hand in Kabul attack

The Taliban militants group has rejected hand in a deadly attack targeting the demonstration in Kabul city which left more than 200 people dead or wounded.

The Taliban group spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the group has no link with the explosions in Kabul city, calling it a grim move to create divisions among the people.

Mujahid further added that the group condemns any move that lead to creation of divisions, including ethnic and religious divisions among the people of Afghanistan.

Without elaborating further Mujahid said the attack was carried out by the enemies.

Protests will continue

Within an hour of the attack, angry demonstrators started regrouping in the Dehmazang Circle area. Many said they would stay on the streets until their demands are met.

One demonstrator said the protests will continue until the legitimate voice of the people is heard.

This comes after government overnight blocked most access points into the city center in a bid to prevent demonstrators from reaching the presidential palace.

More on this story

More than 60 killed in bombings at Kabul protest, official says

At least 61 people have been killed and 207 wounded when two suicide bombers detonated explosives at a large demonstration in Kabul on Saturday afternoon, Health Ministry spokesman Ismail Kawusi said.

Deadly blast in Kabul leaves scores of casualties among protesters

A heavy explosion in Kabul targeting protesters has left scores of casualties, an official said.

Related stories

Truck bomb kills 40, injures 327 as Kabul siege ends

Taliban suicide bomb in Kabul kills 20

Taliban suicide bomb in Kabul kills 10

Latest news

Bomb explodes outside police officer's home in Northern Ireland

A bomb exploded outside a police officer's home in Northern Ireland on Wednesday but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Denmark to charge man with blasphemy over burning Koran

Danish prosecutors said Wednesday they have opened a rare blasphemy case against a man who videotaped himself burning a copy of the Koran.

South Africa to raise taxes for the wealthiest

South Africa will raise the income tax rate for the country's wealthiest to 45 per cent from 41 per cent, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced Wednesday.

French centrist leader offers conditional support to Macron

The leader of France's centrist Democratic Movement party, Francois Bayrou, said Wednesday he was willing to support reformist former economy minister Emmanuel Macron in the country's upcoming presidential election.

Amnesty International warns of nationalist rhetoric and hate speech in Croatia

Croatia continues to have problems with discrimination against ethnic minorities and with freedom of the media, while heightened nationalist rhetoric and hate speech during election time contributed to growing ethnic intolerance and insecurity in the country, global human rights watchdog Amnesty International said in its annual report on the state of human rights in the world in 2016/2017.

Official assigned to Wilders' security team held by Dutch police

A security official assigned to protect Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders is being held by police on suspicion of passing along classified information about the lawmaker to a Dutch-Moroccan crime gang.

Italy's 'Red Thing' could make impact in election debut, polls show

Two polls conducted for RAI public broadcaster released Wednesday showed a new entity that split from Italy's ruling Democratic Party

Council: Nixing grants to "Novosti" would cause far-reaching implications

The Council for National Minorities, a state-level autonomous umbrella organisation for all ethnic minorities in Croatia, has stated that the cancellation of financial grants to the "Novosti", a newspaper of the ethnic Serb minority, would produce far-reaching implications and stir criticism for reduction of free speech and of freedom of expression of the most numerous ethnic minority.

Russia to build replica Reichstag for schoolchildren to storm

A military-themed park in a suburb of Moscow will soon install a replica of Berlin's Reichstag for Russian schoolchildren to storm, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday.

Alitalia strike set for Thursday, hundreds of flights cancelled

Employees of Italy's loss-making airline Alitalia will go on strike Thursday, air transport unions confirmed, after government talks with both sides failed to break the deadlock.

EU calls on Germany to reduce large current account surplus

The European Commission on Wednesday called on Germany, the bloc's biggest economy, to reduce its large current account surplus and focus on boosting domestic consumption.

Germans' demand for Croatian destinations on steady rise

Bookings for Croatia's destinations in some regions of Bavaria have been rising and some statistics show a 30% increase year-on-year, according to the preliminary information from the "" fair for leisure and travel, which opened in Munich on Wednesday and runs through Sunday.