Bomb explodes near girls’ school in Kabul, at least 30 dead

A bomb exploded near a women’ school in a majority Shiite district of west Kabul on Saturday, killing at least 30 individuals, lots of them younger pupils between 11 and 15 years previous. The Taliban condemned the assault and denied any accountability.

(*30*) evacuated the wounded as family members and residents screamed at authorities near the scene of the blast at Syed Al-Shahda school, in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood, Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian mentioned. The demise toll was anticipated to rise additional.

The bombing, apparently aimed to trigger most civilian carnage, provides to fears that violence in the war-wrecked nation may escalate because the US and NATO end nearly 20 years of military engagement.

Witness accounts

Residents in the realm mentioned the explosion was deafening. One, Naser Rahimi, informed The Associated Press he heard three separate explosions, though there was no official affirmation of a number of blasts. Rahimi additionally mentioned he believed that the sheer energy of the explosion meant the demise toll would nearly actually climb.

Rahimi mentioned the explosion went off as the women have been streaming out of the school at round 4:30 p.m. native time. Authorities have been investigating the assault however have but to verify any particulars.

One of the scholars fleeing the school recalled the assault, the screaming of the women, the blood.

“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.

“Ten minutes later there was another explosion and just a couple of minutes later another explosion,” she mentioned. “Everyone was yelling and there was blood everywhere, and I couldn’t see anything clearly.” Her friend died.

Who is behind the attack?

While no one has claimed responsibility for the bombing, the Afghan Islamic State affiliate has targeted the Shiite neighborhood before.

The radical Sunni Muslim group has declared war on Afghanistan’s minority Shiite Muslims. Washington blamed IS for a vicious attack last year in a maternity hospital in the same area that killed pregnant women and newborn babies.

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In Dasht-e-Barchi, angry crowds attacked the ambulances and even beat health workers as they tried to evacuate the wounded, Health Ministry spokesman Ghulam Dastigar Nazari said. He implored residents to cooperate and allow ambulances free access to the site.

Images circulating on social media purportedly showed bloodied school backpacks and books strewn across the street in front if the school, and smoke rising above the neighborhood.

At the hospital

At one nearby hospital, Associated Press journalists saw at least 20 dead bodies lined up in hallways and rooms, with dozens of wounded people and families of victims pressing through the facility.

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

Both Arian and Nazari said that at least 50 people were also wounded, and that the casualty toll could rise. The attack occurred just as the fasting day came to an end.

Islamic State responsible, says Taliban

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, and Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told reporters in a message that only the Islamic State group could be responsible for such a heinous crime. Mujahid also accused Afghanistan’s intelligence agency of being complicit with IS, although he offered no evidence.

The Taliban and the Afghan government have traded accusations over a series of targeted killings of civil society workers, journalists and Afghan professionals. While IS has taken responsibility for some of those killings, many have gone unclaimed.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani issued a statement condemning the attack, blaming the Taliban even as they denied it. He offered no proof.

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IS has previously claimed attacks against minority Shiites in the same area, last year claiming two brutal attacks on education facilities that killed 50 people, most of them students.

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

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

American troops start to depart

The assault comes days after the remaining 2,500 to three,500 American troops formally started leaving the nation. They can be out by Sept. 11 at the newest. The pullout comes amid a resurgent Taliban, who management or maintain sway over half of Afghanistan.

The prime U.S. army officer mentioned Sunday that Afghan authorities forces face an unsure future and probably some “bad possible outcomes” in opposition to Taliban insurgents because the withdrawal accelerates in the approaching weeks.

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