Injured woman after fatal explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing 25 dead.
Mohammad Ismail | Reuters
A bomb exploded near a school in a Shiite district in western Kabul on Saturday, killing at least 25 people, including many young students, Afghan government spokesmen said.
The Taliban condemned the attack, which appeared to be directed against civilians, and declined any responsibility.
Ambulances rushed to evacuate the wounded from the site of the explosion near the Syed Al-Shahda school in the Shiite majority neighborhood of Dasht-e-Barchi, Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said.
Angry crowds attacked the ambulances and even beat health workers, said Health Ministry spokesman Ghulam Dastigar Nazari. He pleaded with residents to work together and give ambulances free access to the site.
Images shared on social media allegedly showed smoke rising over the neighborhood.
At a nearby hospital, Associated Press journalists saw at least 20 bodies lined up in hallways and rooms, and dozen of the wounded and families of victims thronged the facility.
Dozens of people lined up outside the Muhammad Ali Jinnah Hospital to donate blood while family members checked the lists of victims on the walls.
Both Arian and Nazari said at least 50 people were also injured and that the number of victims could increase. The attack happened just as the day of fast was coming to an end.
No one immediately took responsibility for the attack, and Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told reporters in a message that only the Islamic State Group could be responsible for such a heinous crime.
The extremist group previously called for attacks against Shiite minorities in the same region and last year called for two brutal attacks on educational institutions that killed 50 people, most of them students.
Although IS in Afghanistan has been demoted, according to government and US officials, it has intensified its attacks, particularly against Shiite Muslims and workers.
The group had previously assumed responsibility for the targeted murder of three female media workers in eastern Afghanistan.
The attack comes days after the remaining 2,500-3,500 American troops officially begin to leave the country. They will be published no later than September 11th. The withdrawal is taking place amid resurgent Taliban who control or rule over half of Afghanistan.
The top US military officer said Sunday that Afghan government forces face an uncertain future and possibly some “poor possible outcomes” against Taliban insurgents as the withdrawal accelerates in the coming weeks.