At least 61 people were killed and 207 were wounded on Saturday in a suicide attack on a demonstration in Kabul claimed by ISIS an official from the Public Health Ministry said.
The deaths are more than double earlier estimates.
Witnesses in the Afghan capital Kabul say an explosion has struck a protest march by ethnic Hazaras. Casualties are feared.
The protesters Saturday were demanding that a major regional electric power line be routed through their impoverished home province.
It is the second march against the current route of a multi-million-dollar regional electricity line. The last one in May attracted tens of thousands.
Afghan authorities have closed off streets across the capital, Kabul, in preparation for a demonstration by ethnic Hazaras demanding a planned power line be rerouted through their poverty-stricken province.
Police have been moving trucks and containers into the city overnight Friday to block roads and prevent marchers reaching the city center or the presidential palace.
The so-called TUTAP line is backed by the Asian Development Bank with involvement of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The original plan routed the line through Bamiyan province, in the central highlands, where most of the country’s Hazaras live.
That route was changed in 2013 by the previous Afghan government.
The ISIS terrorist group claimed responsibility for the deadly bombing of the protest march.
A statement reported Saturday by the ISIS-Linked Aamaq online news agency said two ISIS militants detonated their explosive vests amid the crowds of minority ethnic Hazara demonstrators.
The Taliban have condemned the attack.
Spokesperson Zabiullah Mujaheed sent an e-mail to the media saying they were not behind it.
The spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has told The Associated Press that the central government had shared intelligence with the organizers of the protest march warning that the marchers faced a possible “terrorist attack.”
Spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri told AP Saturday that government officials warned the march organizers that they risked attack because, “We knew that terrorists wanted to bring sectarianism to Kabul, and cause splits within our community.”
He said the president will meet leaders of the Hazara demonstrators later today. Many of the leaders did not attend Saturday’s demonstration.