At least 30 killed, 52 wounded in blast near Kabul girls' school

Brunilde Fioravanti
Mag 8, 2021

"We identify the number of Taliban [militants] ... before an attack and after an attack, residents tell us about the figures that there are still Taliban bodies left in the fighting ... the locals are cooperating with us in collecting the data", ministry spokesman Fawad Aman said.

While no-one has claimed responsibility for the bombing, previous brutal attacks in the same area have been claimed by the Afghan affiliate of the so-called Islamic State (IS).

"I was with my classmate, we were leaving the school, when suddenly an explosion happened, " said 15-year-old Zahra, whose arm had been broken by a piece of shrapnel.

The neighbourhood is populated largely by the Shia Hazaras and is often a target for Sunni Islamist militants. "People have been evacuated to hospitals from the site", he added.

"The horrendous attack in Dasht-i Barchi area in Kabul, is an despicable act of terrorism", the European Union's mission in Afghanistan said on Twitter.

In May past year a group of gunmen attacked a hospital in the area in a brazen daylight raid that left 25 people killed, including 16 mothers of new-born babies.

He implored residents to cooperate and allow ambulances free access to the site.

An injured student is transported to a hospital after one of the explosions near a school in west Kabul on Saturday.

Arian's deputy Hamid Roshan told AFP that an investigation had begun into what he said was a "terrorist attack", adding that casualties included students. The attack occurred just as the fasting day came to an end.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has denied the group's involvement in the explosion and condemned the incident.

The Taliban and the Afghan government have traded accusations over a series of targeted killings of civil society workers, journalists and Afghan professionals.

On October 24, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a tuition centre in the same district, killing 18 people including students in an attack that also went unclaimed. He offered no proof.

But President Ashraf Ghani blamed the group for the blast, which took place near the entry gate of Sayed Al-Shuhada girls' school.

ISIS has previously claimed attacks against minority Shia in the same area, past year taking responsibility for two brutal attacks on education facilities that killed 50 people, majority students.

Even as the IS has been degraded in Afghanistan, according to government and U.S. officials, it has stepped up its attacks particularly against Shia Muslims and women workers.

Earlier the group took responsibility for the targeted killing of three women media personnel in eastern Afghanistan.

The US was supposed to have pulled all forces out by May 1 under a deal struck with the Taliban a year ago, but Washington pushed back the date to September 11 - a move that angered the insurgents.

Kabul is on high alert since Washington announced plans last month to pull out all U.S. troops by Sept 11, with Afghan officials saying the Taliban have stepped up attacks across the country.

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