Scores killed in Kabul blast as Afghanistan reels from attacks

Scores killed in Kabul blast as Afghanistan reels from attacks

Abdul Hai Nemati, the governor of Baghlan, said at least nine security forces were still missing and four others were wounded in the attack.

Also Wednesday, life was gradually returning to normal in parts of the eastern city of Ghazni after a massive, days-long Taliban attack, though sporadic gunbattles was still underway in some neighbourhoods.

In June, an unprecedented ceasefire marking the end of the Ramadan fasting season was brokenby a vehicle bomb that struck a gathering of Taliban and Afghan security officials, killing at least 20.

At least 25 people were killed when a suicide attacker struck an education centre in a minority Shiite area of western Kabul Wednesday, officials said, the latest assault in Afghanistan's war-weary capital.

The explosion, which came as the central city of Ghazni struggles to recover from five days of intense fighting between the Taliban and government forces, underlined how badly security in Afghanistan has degenerated, some two months before parliamentary elections scheduled for October.

Police say a suicide bomber walked into the centre while teaching was under way and detonated his bomb belt.

The Taliban, who launched their Ghazni assault last Friday and battled Afghan forces backed by USA air strikes in the middle of the city for days, said their fighters had been pulled out to prevent further harm to the city's population.

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The attack took place in northern Baghlan province, in the Baghlan-I Markazi district, said Mohammad Safdar Mohseni, the head of the provincial council.

A spokesman for the Taliban insurgents immediately denied any connection to the bombing, and no other group claimed it. He said reinforcements have been dispatched to help recapture the checkpoints. He blamed insurgents, saying the rockets they fire at Afghan security forces often harm civilians.

At least 100 security forces were killed in the fight for Ghazni, officials have said, with unconfirmed fears that at least as many civilians died.

Separately, six girls younger than 10 were killed when an unexploded mortar they picked up to play with suddenly exploded on Wednesday, officials in the eastern province of Laghman said.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, the Taliban attacked a police checkpoint in the southern Zabul province early on Wednesday, killing four policemen, according to the provincial police chief, Mustafa Mayar, who said another three officers were wounded.

Afghan security forces have taken significant losses since US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation combat forces pulled out of the country at the end of 2014.

"The extreme human suffering caused by the fighting in Ghazni highlights the urgent need for the war in Afghanistan to end", the top United Nations official in Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, said in a statement.

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