At least 50 people have been killed and more than 100 others wounded in an explosion near a high school for girls in the Afghan capital, Kabul, Saturday afternoon. The blast happened near the Sayeed-ul-Shuhada School in the Dasht-e-Barchi area, a mostly Shiite neighborhood in the west of the capital , and was caused by a car bomb followed by two IED explosions. The incident happened when students were leaving the school. The majority of victims are girls. Many of the pupils were between 11 and 15 years old. Bloodied backpacks and schools books lay strewn outside the Syed Al-Shahda school. Saturday’s attack was among the worst. The attack targeted Afghanistan’s ethnic Hazaras. No one has yet claimed Saturday’s bombings but is known that the radical Sunni Muslim group has declared war on Afghanistan’s Shiites. On social media, the Taliban denied responsibility and condemned the attack.
The presidential palace in Afghanistan, in a statement, blamed the killings on the Taliban, calling them “a crime against humanity.” Outside the Muhammad Ali Jinnah Hospital, in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood dozens of people lined up to donate blood. The attack comes days after the remaining 2,500 to 3,500 American troops officially began leaving the country. Rights groups and others were expressing alarm that the American troop withdrawal would leave women, and their educational and social gains, particularly vulnerable. In recent weeks, the Taliban’s public statements have mostly been triumphal.