Bombing Close to Faculty Kills At Least 30 In Afghanistan, Many Of Them Women : NPR

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An injured student is rushed to hospital after a bomb explosion near a school in Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday. Rahmat Gul / AP Hide caption

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Rahmat Gul / AP

An injured student is rushed to hospital after a bomb explosion near a school in Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday.

Rahmat Gul / AP

A bomb attack near a school in Kabul on Saturday killed at least 30 people, including many young students.

At least 52 people were injured in the attack, according to a spokesman for the Interior Ministry.

No group took responsibility.

Female students may have been targeted. Sayed Ul-Shuhada High School teaches boys and girls, but not together. Girls are attending class in the afternoon when the explosion occurred.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani blamed the Taliban for the attack. A Taliban spokesman condemned the attack and denied responsibility. Islamic State militants have also carried out attacks in the region in the past.

It happened in the Kabul district of Dasht-e-Barchi, where a year ago armed men killed 16 people in a hospital maternity ward. Among the victims were newborn babies, their mothers, and the nurses who supported them.

It comes as the US and NATO began removing all remaining troops from Afghanistan. President Biden says he intends to complete the drawdown by September 11th, marking the end of a 20 year war.

US intelligence agencies have warned that “if the coalition withdraws support, the Taliban are likely to make a profit on the battlefield and the Afghan government will have difficulty keeping the Taliban at bay.”

Unconditional US withdrawal shakes Afghanistan's shaky peace talks

The deadly attacks in Afghanistan have increased in the last few days.

The New York Times reports that in the week leading up to May 6, “at least 140 pro-government forces and 44 civilians were killed in Afghanistan … the highest death toll in a single week since October”.

When Biden announced the drawdown last month, he promised that the US would “continue to support” the Afghan security forces and reorganize the US counter-terrorism forces “over the horizon” to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for terrorists again Plan attacks against the United States

Former President Donald Trump had promised a full withdrawal of US troops by May 1. A deadline that Biden had announced would be difficult to meet.

The Taliban reject most education for women and girls.

Ross Wilson, the US Chargé d’Affaires in Kabul, described the attack on the school as “hideous”.

“This unforgivable attack on children is an attack on Afghanistan’s future that cannot be endured,” he wrote.