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At least 48 killed, 67 injured in suicide attack in Kabul: Afghani officials

Published: Updated:

A suspected suicide bomber blew himself up in front of an educational centre in the west of the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday, killing at least 48 people and injuring 67, officials said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, which came after several weeks of relative calm in Kabul.

The Taliban, who have been intensifying their attacks against military and government centres in recent weeks, issued a statement denying involvement.

The public health ministry said 67 wounded had been brought to city hospitals, in addition to the 48 killed, adding to the mounting list of civilian casualties this year.

The attack occurred as the government was facing heavy pressure over a Taliban attack on the central city of Ghazni that led to five days of intense fighting during which hundreds of civilians and members of the security forces were killed.

The attack on Ghazni, one of the biggest seen for years in Afghanistan, fuelled criticism that President Ashraf Ghani’s Western-backed government was incapable of protecting the country.

With parliamentary elections due on October 20, the government had been bracing for more attacks in Kabul and other cities, even while hopes of peace talks with the Taliban had been fuelled by a three-day truce during the Eid al-Fitr holiday in June.

On August, 3, a suicide bomber attacked a mosque in eastern Afghanistan during Friday prayers, killing 25 people and wounding 40, police said.

Afghanistan has mostly avoided the sectarian violence that has devastated countries such as Iraq, but there have been increasing numbers of attacks on Shi’ite targets in recent years.