Wednesday, 16 October, 2019

Gunmen Attack Afghan Spy Agency Compound In Kabul

The aftermath of the suicide bomb attack in Kabul The aftermath of the suicide bomb attack
Patty Aguilar | 17 August, 2018, 07:44

The Islamic State group, in a posting on its Aamaq News Agency, claimed more than 200 people were killed or wounded in Wednesday's suicide bombing.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the Kabul blast but the attack bore the hallmark of ISIS, which has conducted many previous attacks on Shi'ite targets.

The attack took place in Baghlan province's Baghlan-I Markazi district, said Mohammad Safdar Mohseni, the head of the provincial council.

According to Kabul police, the assailants used a nearby house under construction to stage the attack, which sparked exchanges of gunfire lasting several hours, followed by explosions. The students were teenagers, preparing for university entrance exams at the time of the attack. One witness told Reuters that the scene at the educational center was "horrific".

Hossain recounted to The Associated Press how when he entered Fareba's classroom, he saw parts of human bodies all over student desks and benches.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has also condemned the "terrorist" attack on the Shiites that "martyred and wounded the innocent" - students attending class - and ordered an investigation to determine how the bomber had managed to sneak into the compound, which has its own guards.

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.

The head of the United Nations children's agency denounced the attack, saying it's "deplorable" that children continue to be hardest hit in the growing violence across Afghanistan.

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Kandahar was the religious heartland of the Taliban during their five-year rule that ended with the 2001 invasion by USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces following the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

"The defence ministry confirmed the incident early on Wednesday, but gave no details".

Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanekzai said the attackers were firing rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons but it was unclear how many gunmen were involved.

According to al Jazeera, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack. And six young girls were killed after playing with an unexploded rocket shell, an official in the eastern province of Laghman told the wire service.

The blast was the latest in a wave of attacks that have killed hundreds of civilians, soldiers and policemen over recent days.

The Ghazni attack, one of the Taliban's most devastating in years, has clouded hopes for peace talks that had been prompted by an unprecedented ceasefire during the Eid celebration in June and a meeting last month between Taliban officials and a senior USA diplomat.

"It took Afghan forces - assisted by US advisors - five days to repel the insurgents", NPR's Diaa Hadid reports. "So, I believe the Taliban do not believe in peace talks", said shopkeeper Shahenshah Shahin in Kabul.

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