KABUL (AFP): At least six people were killed and 11 wounded Tuesday by two bomb blasts at a boys’ school in the Afghan capital, with social media showing grisly images from the Hazara Shiite neighbourhood.
The number of bomb blasts in the country has significantly declined since the Taliban ousted the US-backed Afghan government in August, but the jihadist Islamic State group has claimed several attacks since then.
Kabul police spokesman Khalid Zadran told AFP that Tuesday’s blasts at the Abdul Rahim Shahid school were caused by improvised explosive devices and left at least six people killed and 11 wounded.
“These are preliminary figures. We are at the site and waiting for more details,” he said.
Zadran said a third blast had occurred at an English language centre in the same area, but did not specify whether it was caused by an explosive.
Zadran earlier tweeted that three blasts had rocked the school, which is in an area mainly inhabited by the Hazara community and has been previously targeted by the jihadist Islamic State group.
Tuesday’s blasts occurred as students were coming out of their morning classes at the school, a witness told AFP.
Grisly images posted on social media networks showed several bodies lying at the gate and compound of the school.
Images showed patches of blood, burnt books and school bags scattered at the premises. Taliban fighters were seen cordoning off the area.
Victims were taken to hospital, but Taliban fighters kept journalists from the premises.
Attacks on public targets have largely diminished since the Taliban seized power in August last year, but IS continues to operate across the country.
The Taliban have also been blamed previously for attacks targeting the Hazara community, who make up between 10 to 20 percent of the country’s 38 million population.
Taliban officials insist their forces have defeated IS, but analysts say the jihadist group is a key security challenge to the hardline Islamists who now rule Afghanistan.
Since seizing power the Taliban have regularly carried out raids on suspected IS hideouts, mainly in the eastern Nangarhar province.
IS has claimed some of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan in recent years.
In May last year at least 85 people — mainly girl students — were killed and about 300 were wounded when three bombs exploded near their school in Dasht-e-Barchi.
No group claimed responsibility, but in October 2020 IS claimed a suicide attack on an educational centre in the same area that killed 24, including students.
In May 2020, the group was blamed for a bloody attack on a maternity ward of a hospital in the neighbourhood that killed 25 people, as well as new mothers.