Blast near school in Afghan capital Kabul kills over two dozen

Ruben Fields
May 9, 2021

The injured are being treated in hospital.

"I saw a woman checking the bodies and calling for her daughter".

Many victims were young pupils between 11 and 15 years old.

Several witnesses described hearing three separate explosions, while one woman, Reza, told AFP news agency she had seen "many bloodied bodies in dust and smoke".

No one immediately took responsibility for the deadly attack. But the militants have still been able to launch attacks and recently claimed responsibility for killing three women media workers in the city of Jalalabad.

No group has so far claimed the attack, but Afghan officials including President Ashraf Ghani blamed the Taliban.

Some of the children killed outside a secondary school in Kabul on Saturday have been buried - as other relatives are still searching for the missing.

The radical Sunni Muslim group has declared war on Afghanistan's Shiites.

"Targeting suggests ISIS was behind it, though if so, it may not claim responsibility as that increases the likelihood that its Taliban rival will be blamed", Kugelman said, using an acronym for Islamic State.

"They have carried out similar attacks on education institutions in the past", said Arian.

Washington blamed IS for a vicious attack previous year in a maternity hospital in the same area that killed pregnant women and newborn babies.

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

One of the students fleeing the school recalled the attack. the screaming of the girls, the blood.

"The government reacts after the incident, it doesn't do anything before the incident", said Mohammad Baqir, Alizada, 41, who had gathered to bury his niece, Latifa, a Grade 11 student the Syed Al-Shahda school.

Outside the Muhammad Ali Jinnah Hospital, dozens of people lined up to donate blood, while family members checked casualty posted lists on the walls.

The Taliban denied involvement, and insist they have not carried out attacks in Kabul since February a year ago, when they signed a deal with Washington that paved the way for peace talks and withdrawal of the remaining USA troops.

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

Even as IS has been degraded in Afghanistan, according to government and United States officials, it has stepped-up its attacks particularly against Shiite Muslims and women workers.

It comes as the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation have begun removing all remaining troops from Afghanistan. The blasts come against a backdrop of rising violence as the USA looks to withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan by 11 September.

Afghanistan is seeing increasing violence as the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation prepare to pull out all remaining forces from the country on 11 September.

The top US military officer said Sunday that Afghan government forces face an uncertain future and some "bad possible outcomes" against Taliban insurgents as the withdrawal accelerates in the coming weeks.

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