KABUL (Reuters) -Several explosions near a school in Kabul on Saturday left at least 40 dead and dozens injured, mostly young girls, the Afghan interior ministry said.
The attack has not yet been claimed, but Afghan President Ashraf Ghani attributed it to the Taliban. Spokesman for the insurgent group, Zabihullah Mujahid, denied any involvement by his movement and condemned the attack.
The explosions took place in a neighborhood in western Kabul where many Shiites live, a community regularly targeted by Sunni jihadists from the Islamic State organization.
According to an Interior Ministry official, most of the victims are students of the Sayed ul Shuhada girls’ school.
Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said at least 52 were injured while his health ministry counterpart Ghulam Dastagir Nazari said 46 people had been hospitalized.
Authorities in Kabul fear an upsurge in violence as the United States has undertaken to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan, 20 years after their deployment following the September 11, 2001 attacks on their soil.
The Taliban, driven from power at the end of 2001 by this American intervention, recently intensified their attacks across the country, according to the Afghan authorities.