Kabul’s military training centre attacked

Minnie Murray
August 19, 2018

The bombing, blamed on the Islamic State group, was the latest assault on Afghanistan's Shiite community, which has increasingly been targeted by Sunni extremists who consider Shiites to be heretics.

Police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai said the attack unfolded shortly after 4pm in the limits of 18th police district.

Taliban militants also delivered high-profile, demoralising blows in the strategic city of Ghazni - which they attacked last week, forcing security forces backed by USA air power to struggle for days to push them out - and in Faryab, where they captured a northern base, killing at least 17 soldiers.

The attacker walked into the private tuition center in Dash-i-Barchi locality of Kabul on Wednesday afternoon and detonated his bomb belt, when classes were underway.

The death toll could rise.

Provincial Governor Wahidullah Kalimzai assured the visiting president of reactivation of the water and power supply systems and restoration of telecommunication networks, the palace said in a statement.

The assault underscores the price that ordinary Afghans have paid in the grinding conflict as the country reels from a recent upsurge in militant violence, including a massive, days-long Taliban onslaught on the eastern city of Ghazni. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket attack. "In the explosion 37 people were killed, more than 40 injured", he said, adding that the "absolute majority" of them had been students.

Provincial police spokesman Zia Durrani says the policemen discovered the vehicle packed with explosives late on Wednesday.

The firefight erupted near a training centre overseen by the National Security Directorate - Afghanistan's intelligence agency - with the gunmen holed up in a construction site near residential buildings, an official at the scene said.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, the Taliban attacked a police checkpoint in the southern Zabul province early Wednesday, killing four policemen, according to the provincial police chief, Mustafa Mayar.

Najib Danish, spokesman for the Interior Misnitry, says Wednesday's attack took place in western Kabul, in the Dasht-i Barcha neighborhood. The US official said that Taliban's offensives can be seen rising furthermore but the US-backed forces are determined to combat the Taliban fighters.

Afghanistan is littered with unexploded ordnance left by decades of war.

The surge in violence comes just weeks after Afghans marked an unprecedented countrywide ceasefire between the Taliban and government forces in June, giving some temporary relief to civilians. "Today, even in Kabul, people may be starting to fear a sudden attack by the Taliban against the city".

Also Turkey, Bahrain, the UAE, the United Nations and others condemned the attack.

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