At least 18 dead in suicide bomb attack in Kabul

At least 18 dead in suicide bomb attack in Kabul
At least 18 dead in suicide bomb attack in Kabul

Afghanistan’s interior ministry said at least 18 people were killed and 57 injured, including schoolchildren, in a suicide bomb attack outside an education center in Kabul.

The explosion occurred in front of a training center in Dasht-e-Barchi, a busy Shiite neighborhood in western Kabul.

Interior ministry spokesman Tarik Arian said the attacker tried to enter the center when stopped by security guards.

He said that as the family members of the victims continued to search for hospitals where the injured were taken, the number of injured could increase.

No group immediately took responsibility for the bombing. The Taliban denied any connection with the attack.

A member of the so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for a similar suicide attack that killed 34 students at an education center in August 2018. In Afghanistan, ISIS launched large-scale attacks on minority Shiites, Sikhs and Hindus, which it regards as apostates.

Hundreds of Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan fled the country in September after a musketeer loyal to the militant group killed 25 members of the shrunken community in an attack on a prayer hall in Kabul.

The United States signed a peace treaty with the Taliban in February, paving the way for American troops to withdraw from the conflict. US officials said the agreement will also help refocus the security efforts on fighting ISIS, the Taliban’s rival in Afghanistan.

Recently, there has been a surge of violence in the country as representatives of the two warring parties began peace talks in Doha between Taliban and Afghan forces to end the decades-long war in the country.

A local official said early Saturday that a roadside bomb in eastern Afghanistan killed nine people after it hit a van full of civilians.

A Gazni province police spokesman said that a second roadside bomb crashed into their vehicles leading to the victims of the first explosion, killing two police officers.

He added that the bombings injured several people and that the attacks were under investigation.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks. A spokesman for the provincial police claimed that the Taliban planted the bomb.