Kabul attack: Blasts near school leave at least 30 dead

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Blasts close to a secondary school in the Afghan capital Kabul have left at least 30 people dead and dozens more injured, officials have said.

The explosions took place as students were leaving the building on Saturday, with pictures on social media showing abandoned school bags in the street.

Most of the victims were girls, a ministry of education spokeswoman said.

No-one has admitted carrying out the attack in Dasht-e-Barchi – an area often hit by Sunni Islamist militants.

Taliban militants denied any involvement.

Afghan officials say they believe the explosions were caused by a car bomb and mortars.

The neighbourhood in western Kabul is home to many from the Hazara minority community, who are of Mongolian and Central Asian descent and are mainly Shia Muslims.

Almost exactly a year ago, a maternity unit at the local hospital was attacked, leaving 24 women, children and babies dead.

The exact target for Saturday’s bloodshed is unclear.

The blasts come against a backdrop of rising violence as the US looks to withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan by 11 September.

Reports from Kabul say the city was busy with shoppers ahead of this year’s celebrations for Eid al-Fitr next week.

Students were also streaming from the school. Najiba Arian, ministry of education spokeswoman, told Reuters news agency the government-run school was open to boys and girls.

Most of the those hurt were girls, who study in the second of three sessions, according to Ms Arian.

Several witnesses described hearing three separate explosions, while one woman told AFP news agency she had seen “many bloodied bodies in dust and smoke”.

“I saw a woman checking the bodies and calling for her daughter,” the woman, Reza, said. “She then found her daughter’s bloodstained purse after which she fainted and fell to the ground.”

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