KABUL Afghanistan, May 9- The death toll in a horrific bombing at a girls’ school in the Afghan capital has killed around 50, the Interior Ministry said. The explosions took place outside the school entrance when the students were leaving for the day from the school.
The number of wounded in Saturday’s attack has also climbed to more than 100, said Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani blamed the Taliban for the attack. Taking social media Taliban spokesperson condemned the attack and denied responsibility. The area happens to be in a western district of the capital where many residents are of the Hazara ethnic minority. The Hazara are a mostly Shiite group in a country rampant with Sunni militants, and they have been frequent targets of Islamic State loyalists. The Hazara, too, are growing increasingly outraged at the violence against them and at the government’s inability to protect them.
The first explosion came from a vehicle packed with explosives, followed by two others, said Arian, adding that the casualty figures could still rise.
In the capital rattled by relentless bombings, Saturday’s attack was among the worst. Criticism has mounted over lack of security and growing fears of even more violence as the U.S. and NATO complete their final military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
When Biden announced the drawdown last month, he pledged the U.S. will “keep providing assistance” to Afghan security forces, and reorganize U.S. counterterrorism forces “over the horizon,” to prevent Afghanistan from again becoming a safe haven for terrorists planning attacks against the U.S.
Former President Donald Trump had pledged a full withdrawal of U.S. troops by May 1, a deadline Biden had said would be tough to meet.
The Taliban opposes most education for women and girls.
Ross Wilson, the U.S. chargé d’affaires in Kabul, called the attack on the school “abhorrent.” “This unforgivable attack on children is an assault on Afghanistan’s future, which cannot stand,” he wrote.
In a statement following the attack, the EMERGENCY Hospital said the first three months of this year have seen a 21 percent increase in war-wounded.