Kabul: A suicide attack Saturday in Afghanistan’s capital killed at least 18 people and wounded 57 others, including schoolchildren, the interior ministry said.
The explosion struck outside an education center in a heavily Shiite neighborhood of western Kabul. The interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian says that the attacker was trying to enter the center when he was stopped by security guards.
No group claimed immediate responsibility for the bombing. The Taliban rejected any connection with the attack. An Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility for a similar suicide attack at an education center in August 2018, in which 34 students were killed.
Within Afghanistan, IS has launched large-scale attacks on minority Shiites, whom it views as apostates. The US signed a peace deal with the Taliban in February, opening up a path toward withdrawing American troops from the conflict.
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US officials said the deal would also help refocus security efforts on fighting the Islamic State, which is a rival of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
There has been an upsurge in violence between Taliban and Afghan forces in the country recently, even as representatives from the two warring sides begin their own peace talks in Doha to end the decades-long war in Afghanistan.
Earlier Saturday a roadside bomb killed nine people in eastern Afghanistan after it struck a minivan full of civilians, a local official said.
Ghazni province police spokesman Ahmad Khan Sirat said that a second roadside bomb killed two policemen, after it struck their vehicle that was making its way to the victims of the first explosion.
Sirat added that the bombings had wounded several others, and that the attacks were under investigation. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks. The provincial police spokesman claimed the Taliban had placed the bomb.