Explosions caused by a car bomb outside a school in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, killed at least 55 people and wounded over 150 on Saturday, according to Reuters.
Officials say mostly female students were killed in the explosion at the entrance of Sayed Al-Shohada High School. Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani blamed on Taliban insurgents.
Taliban militants denied any involvement. The neighbourhood is home for Hazara Shia Muslims.
At the Sayed ul Shuhada high school, girls and boys study in three shifts, the second of which is for female students, Najiba Arian, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Education, told Reuters.
“This terrorist attack on a Kabul girls’ school is abhorrent,” Ross Wilson, Chargé d’Affaires to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan reacted. “With scores murdered, this unforgivable attack on children is as assault on Afghanistan’s future, which cannot stand. My deepest condolences to the students & families who have suffered,” reads the tweet.
State of Qatar expressed its strong condemnation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs renewed, in a statement, the State of Qatar’s firm position of rejecting violence and terrorism regardless of the motives.
Kabul has been on high alert since Washington announced plans last month to pull out all U.S. troops by Sept. 11, with Afghan officials saying the Taliban have stepped up attacks across the country following the announcement.
IS is not part of the peace talks between the Taliban and Afghan government, which in any case are currently stalled.