Death toll from deadly Kabul attack now at 34

Pauline Gross
August 17, 2018

Most of the victims were students preparing for university entrance exams in a classroom at the Mawoud Academy in an area of west Kabul where many members of the city's mainly Shi'ite Hazara community live. "No place is safe for us.' But she said 'No, no, no", the mother said.

In addition to the IS attacks, Taliban militants also delivered high-profile, demoralising blows in the strategic city of Ghazni - which they attacked last week, forcing security forces backed by United States air power to struggle for days to push them out - and in Faryab, where they captured a northern base, killing at least 17 soldiers.

Outrage was also growing on social media, where Afghans condemned the attack and angrily denounced those behind it - as well as the government for failing to protect them.

The Foreign Office rejected on Thursday allegations that Pakistani citizens had supported the Taliban attack on Afghanistan's city of Ghazni recently. Afghan special forces had arrived at the scene, Rahimi added.

At least nine security forces were still missing and four others were wounded in the attack, said Abdul Hai Nemati, the governor of Baghlan.

There has been no claim of responsibility but the Taliban denied carrying it out.

Afghanistan has been reeling from a recent upsurge in militant violence, including a massive, days-long Taliban onslaught on the eastern city of Ghazni. That assault began last Friday.

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The United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation launched airstrikes and sent military advisers to aid Afghan forces as they fight for the city, just 120 kilometers (75 miles) from the Afghan capital with a population of some 270,000 people. Confusion about the death toll arose Wednesday as Kabul hospitals and government officials struggled to cope with the carnage.

At least 100 members of the security forces were killed in the fighting at Ghazni, officials have said.

The Taliban have seized several districts across the country in recent years and carry out near-daily attacks targeting Afghan security forces.

The latest fighting has raised questions over prospects for peace talks between the Taliban and the Western-backed government ahead of next week's Eid al-Adha, a major annual Muslim festival.

"They were facing severe shortages of food and drinking water as the power supply was also suspended two days ago", a Taliban commander, who declined to be identified, said by telephone.

Afghanistan is littered with unexploded ordnance left by decades of war.

The attack on the training facility was the latest incident in a blood-soaked week that saw militants deliver crippling blows to government forces across Afghanistan.

Other reports by GizPress

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