Published: Sun, August 19, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Afghan president congratulates armed forces for Ghazni victory

Afghan president congratulates armed forces for Ghazni victory

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the blast, which killed at least 34 people, majority students attending an English class.

Last Friday, hundreds of Taliban fighters had launched an attack on Ghazni, the capital of the Ghazni province, leading to five days of clashes between the rebels and the security forces that killed almost 500 people, including 326 Taliban fighters, and over one hundred members of the security forces.

Taliban militants also delivered high-profile, demoralising blows in the strategic city of Ghazni - which they attacked last week, forcing security forces backed by United States air power to struggle for days to push them out - and in Faryab, where they captured a northern base, killing at least 17 soldiers.

It was not immediately clear how the bomber managed to sneak into the building, used by the Shia community as an education centre, in the Dasht-i Barcha area of Kabul. He warned the toll could rise.

The incident targeted a building where students were preparing to sit university entrance exams.

The Taliban still hold power in much of the province.

At least 67 people were hurt.

Ghani met officials in Ghazni, a central Afghanistan city on the main highway linking the capital, Kabul, with the south, to assess security, and also met families of the victims and prayed for the deceased. Mohammad Safdar Mohseni, head of the provincial council, said the terrorists set fire to checkpoints after the attack in Baghlan-i Markazi district.

Also Wednesday, six children were killed when they tinkered with an unexploded rocket shell, causing it to blow up, said Sarhadi Zwak, spokesman for the governor of the eastern Laghman province.

Provincial police spokesman Zia Durrani says the policemen discovered the auto packed with explosives late on Wednesday.

"Attacks on educational institutes by hardline Islamic groups are one of the most horrific issues facing our nation today", said Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak after Wednesday's attack on the Mawoud Academy, a private study institute in west Kabul.

"What's crystal clear is that almost four years after the Afghan security forces took over the war efforts, they're still woefully unprepared for the task-despite very real improvements in capacities in recent years".

Afghanistan's IS affiliate is known as The Islamic State in Khorasan Province.

Afghanistan is littered with unexploded ordnance left by decades of war. Dilawar Aymaq, a parliamentarian from Baghlan, confirmed the attack.

The remote outpost called Chinese Camp folded to the Taliban on Monday after dozens of Afghan security forces were killed.

Last week, some 1,000 Taliban fighters stormed Ghazni and retreated five days later after intense fighting.

"Everyday we are witnessing deadly attacks in Kabul and other major cities".

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