Ministry spokesperson says 52 people injured
Multiple blasts targeted a school in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday killing at least 40 people and wounding dozens more, mostly students, a senior interior ministry official said.
The official told Reuters on condition of anonymity that most of the casualties were students coming out of the Sayed ul Shuhada school.
A spokesperosn for the interior ministry, Tariq Arian, put the death toll at least 25 and did not specify the cause or the target.
Ghulam Dastagir Nazari, spokesperson for the health ministry, said 46 people had been taken to hospitals so far.
Kabul is on high alert since Washington announced plans last month to pull out all US troops by Sept 11, with Afghan officials saying the Taliban have stepped up attacks across the country.
No group has claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack. Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid denied the insurgent group’s involvement and condemned the incident.
The school is a joint high school for girls and boys, who study in three shifts, the second of which is for girl students, Najiba Arian, spokesperson for the Ministry of Education, told Reuters. The wounded are mostly girl students, she said.
“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.
“Targeting primarily students in a girls’ school, makes this an attack on the future of Afghanistan.”
The residents were out for shopping ahead of Eid-al-Fitr next week that marks the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.
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.
Health ministry spokesman Dastagir Nazari said several ambulances had been rushed to the site and were evacuating the wounded.
“People in the area are angry and have beaten a number of ambulance workers,” he told reporters.
The blast comes as the US military continues to pull out its last remaining 2,500 troops from the country, despite faltering peace efforts between the Taliban and Afghan government to end a decades-long war in Afghanistan.