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Islamic State claims responsibility for Afghan Supreme Court attack

Afghan policemen keep watch at the site of a bomb blast in Kabul, Afghanistan February 7, 2017. REUTERS/Omar sobhani

KABUL (Reuters) - Islamic State claimed responsibility on Wednesday for a suicide attack that killed at least 22 people outside Afghanistan’s Supreme Court.

The bomber, identified as Abu Bakr Altajiki by the militant group, detonated an explosive belt as court employees were leaving work in downtown Kabul on Tuesday evening.

“The apostates must know, starting with the tyrant judges, that their blasphemous judgements ... will not pass without severe punishment,” the Islamic State statement said.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer called the blast a “cowardly attack” and said U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn had phoned his Afghan counterpart, Mohammad Atmar, to “reaffirm our support to the Afghan government”.

Reporting by Ahmed Tolba in Cairo and Josh Smith in Kabul; Editing by Andrew Heavens