Kabul - A suicide bomb attack at a wedding in Kabul has killed 63 people and wounded 182, an Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman said on Sunday.

Among the victims were women and children, spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said. About 20 people were taken to a Kabul hospital run by the Italian NGO Emergency, the organisation said. “We were planning to sleep when we heard the sound of a loud explosion,” a witness who lives near the venue and did not want to be identified told CNN.

“When I came outside, I saw smoke coming out of the hall. I saw dead bodies and wounded people, who were being taken to hospitals by policemen and Kabul ambulances. We are too in shock, too upset by the incident.”

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. It said one of its fighters detonated an explosive vest amid a large gathering of Shias, reported the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors terrorist group activities. The terror group also said a car bombing followed the initial attack, added SITE.

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack and said that despite the Taliban’s denials of responsibility, it still shared some of the blame because it “provides a platform for terrorists.”

The Taliban have denied involvement and condemned the attack. A Taliban spokesman said the group “strongly condemned” the attack. “There is no justification for such deliberate and brutal killings and targeting of women and children,” Zabiullah Mujaheed said in a text message to the media.

“My top priority for now is to reach out to the families of victims of this barbaric attack,” Ghani said on Twitter. He added that in response to the attack, he had “called an extraordinary security meeting to review and prevent such security lapses.”

The venue is in western Kabul, an area home to many of Afghanistan’s Hazara minority. It is also near the Darul Aman palace, where President Ashraf Ghani is expected to celebrate Afghan Independence Day on Monday.

Afghan weddings often include hundreds of guests who gather in large halls where the men are usually segregated from the women and children.

The groom who gave his name as Mirwais told local TV: “My family, my bride are in shock, they cannot even speak. My bride keeps fainting. I lost my brother, I lost my friends, I lost my relatives. I will never see happiness in my life again.”

“I can’t go to the funerals, I feel very weak ... I know that this won’t be the last suffering for Afghans, the suffering will continue,” he said.

The bride’s father told local media that 14 members of his family were killed in the attack.

A waiter at the hall, Sayed Agha Shah, said “everybody was running” after the blast. “Several of our waiters were killed or wounded,” he added.

The latest blast comes just 10 days after a huge bomb outside a Kabul police station killed at least 14 people and injured nearly 150. The Taliban said they carried out that attack.

Tensions in the country have been high even though the Taliban and the US, which has thousands of troops stationed in Afghanistan, are reportedly getting closer to announcing a peace deal.

Taliban and US representatives have been holding peace talks in Qatar’s capital, Doha, and both sides have reported progress.

On Friday, US President Donald Trump tweeted that both sides were “looking to make a deal - if possible”.