At least 24 dead in suicide attack on Kabul educational centre

The death toll from a suicide attack at an educational centre in Kabul has gone up to 24, Afghanistan’s interior ministry said.

At least 57 others were wounded in the attack that took place on Saturday, it added.

The explosion struck outside the Kawsar-e Danish educational centre in the Pul-e-Khoshk area of Dasht-e-Barchi in west Kabul.

Interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said the attacker had been trying to enter the centre when he was stopped by security guards and detonated his explosives.

The attack happened in an area that is home to many from the minority Shia community.

In the same area of Kabul, dozens of students died in an attack on another educational centre in 2018, and in May, gunmen attacked a maternity ward, killing 24 people, including mothers and babies.

The Taliban denied responsibility for the latest attack, which came at a sensitive time as representatives of the armed group and government meet in Qatar to seek a peace deal – even as violence has risen recently and the United States intends to withdraw its remaining troops from the country.

Surge in violence

The US signed a peace deal with the Taliban in February, opening up a path towards withdrawing American troops from the conflict.

US officials said the deal would also help refocus security efforts on fighting ISIL, which is a rival of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

There has been a surge in violence between Taliban and Afghan forces in the country recently, even as representatives from the two warring sides have begun peace talks in Doha to end the decades-long war in Afghanistan.

Earlier on Saturday, a roadside bomb killed nine people in eastern Afghanistan after it struck a minivan full of civilians, a local official said.

Ghazni province police spokesman Ahmad Khan Sirat said a second roadside bomb had killed two policemen after it struck their vehicle which was making its way to the victims of the first explosion.

Sirat added the bombings had wounded several others, and the attacks were under investigation.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks. The provincial police spokesman claimed the Taliban had placed the bomb.

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