Suicide bomb blast kills at least 19 as students sit exam

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At least 19 people have been killed and dozens more injured in a suicide bombing in the Afghan capital of Kabul, police say.

The attack at an education institute happened as students took an entrance exam inside, police spokesman Khalid Zadran said.

Schools are usually closed in Afghanistan on Fridays.

“Attacking civilian targets proves the enemy’s inhuman cruelty and lack of moral standards,” he said.

Abdul Nafi Takor, a Taliban-appointed spokesman for the interior ministry, said: “Our teams have dispatched at the site of the blast to find out more details.”

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

The official death toll is likely to rise, with a hospital source saying that 23 people had been killed. A Taliban source said 33 had died, including female students.

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Ghulm Sadiq said he was at home when he heard the blast.

“My friends and I were able to move around 15 wounded and nine dead bodies from the explosion site,” he said. “Other bodies were lying under chairs and tables inside the classroom.”

Many of those living in the nearby area are Hazara, an ethnic and mostly Shia minority who have been targeted in previous attacks.

The bombing is the latest in a steady stream of violence since the Taliban seized power last August after the US-led withdrawal.

Since then, girls have been banned from secondary school education.

In 2020, teenage students were among the 24 people killed in an attack claimed by Islamic State at an education centre in western Kabul.

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