Afghan school: bomb blast kills student

At least 10 peo­ple have been killed in a bomb blast at a reli­gious school in north­ern Afghanistan, the Tal­iban said.

An inte­ri­or min­istry spokesman told the BBC that the blast had tak­en place in Aibak, in Saman­gan province, injur­ing more people.

But the death toll is still unknown, with two state offi­cials telling the BBC that 17 peo­ple were killed in the blast.

No group has tak­en respon­si­bil­i­ty for this attack.

The blast was said to have occurred after peo­ple had fin­ished a mass prayer, and doc­tors at a local hos­pi­tal said most of the vic­tims were ele­men­tary school students.

“They are all chil­dren and nor­mal peo­ple,” the doc­tor said, cit­ing AFP.

Inte­ri­or Min­istry spokesman Abdul Nafi Takkur said Tal­iban secu­ri­ty forces were inves­ti­gat­ing the attack and vowed to “iden­ti­fy the per­pe­tra­tors and pun­ish their actions.”

Aibak, locat­ed 200 km north of the cap­i­tal Kab­ul, is a his­tor­i­cal city that pros­pered as a cen­ter of trade and as a cen­ter of Bud­dhism in the 4th and 5th centuries.

Afghanistan has suf­fered dozens of explo­sions since the Tal­iban took pow­er last year, most of them claimed by the local branch of the Islam­ic State, known as the Islam­ic State Kho­rasan Province (ISIS‑K). is.

The group is the most rad­i­cal of Afghanistan’s extrem­ist groups and tar­gets reli­gious minori­ties such as the Haz­aras, whom the Tal­iban have pledged to pro­tect. How­ev­er, Human Rights Watch recent­ly not­ed that “Tal­iban author­i­ties have done lit­tle to pro­tect these com­mu­ni­ties from sui­cide bomb­ings and oth­er unlaw­ful attacks.”

In Sep­tem­ber, a sui­cide bomb­ing in the cap­i­tal Kab­ul killed at least 54 peo­ple, includ­ing 51 girls and young women. It was aimed at venues where hun­dreds of stu­dents were tak­ing uni­ver­si­ty entrance exams.

Tal­iban lead­ers lat­er blamed ISIS‑K, but ISIS‑K itself did not take responsibility.

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