According to government sources, at least 40 people were killed in explosions in the Afghan capital, Kabul. A high-ranking Interior Ministry official said the majority of the dead and dozens of injuries were students. A ministry spokesman initially spoke of at least 25 dead in the incident near a school. According to official information from the Ministry of Education, the majority of the injured are girls.
Initially, nothing was known about the background of the explosions. Eyewitnesses reported rocket strikes in the Shiite area to the west of the city. Other reports mentioned a car bomb.
Despite the withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan, the violence continues in the crisis country, where insurgent Islamists are fighting the NATO-backed government. Observers fear a further deterioration in the security situation.
Around 10,000 NATO soldiers from the Resolute Support training mission will be leaving the country by September 11th at the latest. The date marks the 20th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks in the US that prompted the deployment. Material has been brought out of the country for weeks. The peace talks between the militant Islamist Taliban and the government in Kabul are now stalling.
Taliban are making headway
Just a few days ago, another district in the country fell to the Taliban. According to Provincial Councilor Biamillah Atash, the Islamists captured the Burka district in Baghlan province in the north after fighting with the security forces. In other parts of the country, government security forces have repulsed several Taliban offensives in recent days.
In the provincial capitals of Gazni and Kalat, the fighting subsided after the deployment of additional government forces. The security forces are also making progress in Helmand province in the south of the country, provincial councils said on Wednesday. Kabul had sent special forces into the region and carried out air strikes in several districts.