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Blast Kills Students At Kabul Educational Center


An Afghan man wheels an injured man in a hospital after a suicide bombing in Kabul on October 24.

Afghan officials say at least 18 people have been killed in a suicide bombing that struck outside an educational center in Kabul's Dasht-e Barchi district.

Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said at least 57 people were wounded in the attack on October 24 that was claimed by the Islamic State extremist group. The casualty figures could still rise, he added.

The bomber had tried to enter the Kawsar center but blew himself up as he was approached by security guards, Arian said in a statement.

The center offers training and courses for students in higher education in the mainly Shi'ite Hazara-dominated area in a western district of Kabul.

The AFP news agency quoted eyewitness Ali Reza as saying that most of the victims were students.

"I was standing about 100 meters from the center when a big blast knocked me down," he said. "Dust and smoke were all around me. All those killed and wounded were students who wanted to enter the center."

The suicide attack came hours after a roadside bomb tore through a bus east of Kabul, killing nine civilians. Government officials blamed that explosion on the Taliban.

Violence continues in the country even as representatives from the government and the Taliban engage in peace talks in Doha to end the decades-long war in Afghanistan.

On October 23, rights watchdog Amnesty International said at least 50 people had been killed in Afghanistan in attacks in the preceding week. The group accused both the Taliban and the government of failing to protect civilians.

Based on reporting by AFP, dpa, AP, and RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan