Published: Wed, August 15, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Taliban kills 17 Afghan soldiers after overrunning base

Taliban kills 17 Afghan soldiers after overrunning base

At least 48 people have died after a suicide bomber targeted an education centre in a minority Shia area of western Kabul, in the latest assault in Afghanistan's war-weary capital.

"Most of the boys at the educational center have been killed", said Sayed Ali, who witnessed the blast.

The city hospital was overcrowded with hundreds of wounded people and dozens of bodies and people desperately searching for relatives among the dead and wounded.

The Taliban was quick to deny any part in the Kabul attack, which bears the hallmarks of Islamic State.

The Taliban group had earlier issued a statement confirming that the fighters of the group have no links with today's attack in Dasht Barchi.

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The bloodshed in Kabul capped off a grim few days throughout Afghanistan.

There was no immediate comment from the ministry of defence but officials in the area said nine police and 35 soldiers were killed in the attack, the latest in a series that have killed dozens of members of the security forces in provinces across Afghanistan.

Analysts have said the assault on Ghazni was a military and psychological victory against the government in Kabul, proving the insurgents have the strength to strike a strategically vital city near the capital at will and remain entrenched there for days.

There is still fighting on the outskirts of the city, which lies 150km (90 miles) south of Kabul.

Afghanistan is littered with unexploded ordnance left by decades of war.

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The International Committee of the Red Cross said it was providing dressing packages and oral and intravenous medicine to treat the wounded, along with electricity generators and fresh water for about 18,000 people.

Meanwhile, Afghans emerged from their homes and some shops reopened in Ghazni, where the Taliban launched a coordinated offensive last Friday, overwhelming the city's defenses and capturing several neighborhoods.

"They were facing severe shortage of food and drinking water as the power supply was also suspended to the city two days ago", the Taliban commander, who declined to be identified, said by telephone.

A source within the education center confirmed that the attack has taken place inside the educational center, targeting the students. Officials later said all indications were that there was only one bomber.

In the southern province of Zabul, Taliban insurgents clashed with soldiers on Tuesday, forcing the government to send reinforcements from neighboring provinces to retain control of two checkposts.

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Also on Wednesday (Thursday NZT), 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.

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