Death toll rises to 50 in Afghan girls' school blasts

By: AFP      Published: 11:11 AM, 9 May, 2021
school blast
Family members and relatives mourn inside a hospital while sitting next to the bodies of victims who died in the blast outside a school in Kabul.–AFP

The death toll from bombs planted outside a girls' school in an area of the Afghan capital populated largely by the Shiite Hazara community has risen to 50, the interior ministry said Sunday.

Ministry spokesman Tareq Arian told reporters a car bomb detonated in front of the Sayed Al-Shuhada School on Saturday, and when the students rushed out in panic two more bombs exploded.

He said more than 100 people were wounded, adding that most of the victims were female students.

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

"The Taliban are behind this attack. They have carried out similar attacks on education institutions in the past," said Arian.

The insurgents have denied involvement.

The explosions rocked the west Kabul district of Dasht-e-Barchi -- a regular target of Sunni Islamist militants -- as residents were out shopping ahead of next week's Eid-al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.

It comes as the United States military continues to pull out its last 2,500 troops from violence-wracked Afghanistan, despite faltering peace efforts between the Taliban and the Afghan government to end a decades-long war.