Six people killed and 24 wounded by bomb blasts at school in Kabul

Six people are killed and 24 wounded by two bomb blasts that struck boys’ school in Afghan capital Kabul

  • The explosions happened in densely populated Dasht-e-Barchi neighbourhood
  • Two were reported at the all boys’ Abdul Rahim Shaheed High School in Kabul
  • Six people were reported to have died at the school and dozens more injured
  • A grenade thrown at the nearby Mumtaz Education Centre wounded one person  

At least six people were killed and 24 wounded by two bomb blasts that struck a boys’ school in a mostly Shiite neighbourhood of Afghanistan’s capital, police said.  

More casualties are feared after the blasts, which occurred in rapid succession in the densely populated Shiite Dasht-e-Barchi neighbourhood in Kabul, according to Kabul police spokesman Khalid Zadran and the city’s Emergency Hospital. 

The explosions occurred at the Abdul Rahim Shaheed High School while a grenade was thrown at the nearby Mumtaz Education Centre.

Mr Zadran said the attack outside the school was caused by two improvised explosive devices, killing six people, and one person was wounded at the Mumtaz centre. 

Two hospitals said they were treating 24 wounded patients. 

Medical staff move a wounded youth on a stretcher inside a hospital in Kabul after two blasts at a school

Taliban fighters stand guard outside the school where police said more casualties are feared following the blasts

People look on from inside a building in the aftermath of multiple bomb blasts outside a school in a Shi’ite majority neighborhood in Kabul, Afghanistan

The families of the victims cried out as they scanned through pictures posted on nearby walls by medics

Taliban fighters stand guard at the site of the explosion which killed six people and injured 24

Guards in the narrow street leading to the two-storey high school said they saw 10 casualties.

Inside the school, an Associated Press video journalist saw walls splattered with blood, burned notebooks and children’s shoes.

It appeared a suicide bomber blew himself up inside the sprawling compound, which can house up to 1,000 pupils, witnesses said.

It was not immediately clear how many children were in the school at the time of the explosion.

The school teaches pupils only until the sixth grade after Afghanistan’s hardline Taliban rulers went back on a promise to allow all girls to attend school.

No one has claimed responsibility for the explosions. 

‘We were leaving school and had just stepped out from the rear gate when the explosion occurred,’ Ali Jan, a student who was wounded in the first blast, told AFP at a hospital.

The second blast took place as rescuers arrived to ferry victims from the first explosion to hospitals.

‘Some of our friends have lost hands, while some were covered in blood,’ said Saeed Rahmatullah Haidari, a student at the school.

‘There were pieces of broken glass and pools of blood… my whole body was shaking.’

Outside a hospital treating the wounded, Taliban fighters beat back the families of students who had gathered, slapping or pushing some of them as they searched for information.

Women cried out as they scanned through pictures of victims posted on nearby walls by medics.

Relatives of victims arrive to search for their loved ones outside a hospital in Kabul after the two bomb blasts 

Outside a hospital treating the wounded, Taliban fighters beat back the families of students who had gathered, slapping or pushing some of them as they searched for information

A Taliban fighter stands guard in an area surrounding a school in the aftermath of multiple bomb blasts

The area has been targeted in the past by Afghanistan’s Islamic State affiliate, which reviles Shiite Muslims as heretics.

Save the Children in Afghanistan issued a statement ‘strongly condemning ‘ the attack and saying ‘no school should be deliberately targeted, and no child should fear physical harm at or on the way to school’.

The UN’s high commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi, said he joined the world body’s special representative for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, in offering condolences to families of the victims. He said the attack against the school was ‘horrific and cowardly’.

The Islamic State affiliate known as IS in Khorasan Province, or IS-K, has previously targeted schools particularly in the Shiite dominated Dasht-e-Barchi neighbourhood.

In May last year, months before the Taliban took power in Kabul, more than 60 children, mostly girls, were killed when two bombs were detonated outside their school in Dasht-e-Barchi.

IS has presented the biggest security challenge to the country’s Taliban rulers, who swept into Kabul last August as the US ended its 20-year war.

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