Dozens were killed and wounded in a bombing in front of a school, west of the capital, Kabul, and the Taliban quickly condemned the attack and accused ISIS, while the Afghan president accused the movement of being behind the attack.
Reuters quoted an Afghan security official as saying that the number of victims of the Kabul bombing had risen to 55 dead and 150 injured, while ministry spokesman Tareq Erian confirmed to reporters that the victims had been evacuated and taken to hospitals.
The explosion took place in Dasht Barshi – a densely populated Shiite area – (west of Kabul), when residents were shopping in preparation for Eid al-Fitr next week.
Al-Jazeera correspondent Yunus Ait Yassin confirmed the occurrence of 3 bombings, but indicated that the reports about their nature were contradictory. Between a car bomb or the fall of missiles, pointing out that the region rarely witnesses this level of attacks.
A senior official in the Afghan Interior Ministry told Reuters – on condition of anonymity – that most of the victims were students while leaving the Syed al-Shuhada school.
Footage broadcast by the TV channel “Taloo” showed chaotic scenes outside the school of books and school bags strewn about on a bloodstained road, while residents were trying to help the victims.
The Taliban spokesman accused ISIS of being behind the attacks on the school in the capital, and said that what he described as the sinister departments – which operate under the guise of the government and intelligence services under the name of ISIS – stand behind the attack.
But Afghan President Ashraf Ghani accused the Taliban of being behind the attack.
Ghani said that the movement has demonstrated once again that it does not want to solve the current crisis peacefully and fundamentally, and that it is wasting chances for peace in Afghanistan.
For its part, the US State Department condemned the “barbaric attack,” and called in a statement for an immediate end to what it described as violence and the foolish targeting of innocent civilians in the country.
The State Department added that Washington will continue to support and partner with the Afghan people, to ensure that the gains of the past two decades are not erased.
“The horrific attack in the Dasht-Barji area of Kabul is a despicable terrorist act,” the European Union mission in Afghanistan said on Twitter.
“The targeting of students in a girls’ school in the first place makes this act an attack on the future of Afghanistan,” she added.
The country is witnessing great tension in light of the stalled peace negotiations between the government and the Taliban movement, and the start of the American withdrawal from the country.