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Kabul Bombing Update Authorities confirm rise in death toll

Security was tight and helicopters patrolled overhead but there was no sign of trouble as the protest began.

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Suicide bomb attack play

Suicide bomb attack

(DNA India)

At least 61 people were killed and 207 were wounded on Saturday in a suicide attack on a demonstration in Kabul claimed by Islamic State, an official from the Public Health Ministry said.

The deaths are more than double earlier estimates.

Mohammad Ismail Kawousi, a spokesman for the ministry of public health, said the dead and wounded had been taken to nearby hospitals.

Thousands of people from Afghanistan's Hazara minority were demonstrating in the capital Kabul on Saturday to demand changes to the route of a planned multi-million dollar power transmission line.

The demonstrators were demanding that the 500 kV transmission line from Turkmenistan to Kabul be rerouted through two provinces with large Hazara populations, an option the government says would cost millions and delay the badly needed project by years.

Waving Afghan flags and chanting slogans like "Justice! Justice!" and "Death to discrimination!", demonstrators gathered near Kabul University, several kilometres from the main government area, which police sealed off.

Security was tight and helicopters patrolled overhead but there was no sign of trouble as the protest began.

The transmission line, intended to provide secure electricity to 10 provinces is part of a project backed by the Asia Development Bank aimed at linking energy-rich states of Central Asia with Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Hazaras said they want the transmission line to come through their area because that would ensure their power supply.

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