Advertisement

18 dead, 57 wounded in suicide bombing at education centre in Afghanistan: officials

Click to play video '18 dead, 57 wounded in suicide bombing at education centre in Afghanistan: officials' 18 dead, 57 wounded in suicide bombing at education centre in Afghanistan: officials
WATCH ABOVE: 18 dead, 57 wounded in suicide bombing at education centre in Afghanistan – Oct 24, 2020

The death toll from the suicide attack Saturday in Afghanistan’s capital has risen to at least 18 killed and 57 people wounded, including students, the interior ministry said.

The explosion struck outside an education centre in a heavily Shiite neighbourhood of western Kabul, Dasht-e-Barchi.

Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian says that the attacker was trying to enter the centre when he was stopped by security guards.

Read more: Preventing next war with Taliban as important as ending this one: Afghans

According to Arian, the casualty toll may rise further as family members of victims of the suicide bombing are still searching the several different hospitals where the wounded have been taken.

No group claimed immediate responsibility for the bombing. The Taliban rejected any connection with the attack.

Story continues below advertisement

An Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility for a similar suicide attack at an education centre in August 2018, in which 34 students were killed. Within Afghanistan, IS has launched large-scale attacks on minority Shiites, Sikhs and Hindus, whom it views as apostates.

Hundreds of Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan fled the country in September after a gunman loyal to the militant group killed 25 members of the shrinking community in an attack on their share a place of worship in Kabul.

Click to play video 'United States envoy to Afghanistan hopeful about outcome of peace talks with Taliban' United States envoy to Afghanistan hopeful about outcome of peace talks with Taliban
United States envoy to Afghanistan hopeful about outcome of peace talks with Taliban – Sep 12, 2020

The U.S. signed a peace deal with the Taliban in February, opening up a path toward withdrawing American troops from the conflict. U.S. 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.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: 13 dead, 120 wounded in car bombing in western Afghanistan: officials

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.