At least 16 killed, 24 injured in an explosion in northern Afghanistan

At least 16 people were killed and 24 wounded Wednesday in an explosion at a madrassa in the northern Afghan city of Aybak, a doctor at a local hospital said. AFP.

Since then, there have been dozens of explosions and attacks on civilians The Taliban returned to power in August last year, which was most claimed by the local branch of the Islamic State (IS) group.

A doctor in Aybak, about 200 kilometers (130 miles) north of the capital Kabul, said the victims were mostly young men.

“They are all children and ordinary people,” he said AFPasking not to be named.

A provincial official confirmed the blast at Al-Jihad Madrasa, an Islamic religious school, but could not give a death toll.

The Taliban, who often downplay casualty figures, said 10 students were killed and “many others” were wounded.

“Our detectives and security services are working promptly to identify those responsible for this unforgivable crime and punish them for their actions,” a spokesperson for the Ministry of Internal Affairs tweeted. Abdul Nafai Thakor.

Images and videos circulating on social media — which could not be immediately verified — showed Taliban fighters fighting their way through bodies strewn across the building’s floor.

Prayer mats, broken glass and other debris littered the stage.

A lull between explosions

Aibak is a small but ancient provincial capital that rose to prominence as a caravan stop for traders in the fourth and fifth centuries, when it was also an important Buddhist center.

Afghanistan has seen weeks of lull between major bombings targeting civilians, although several Taliban fighters have been killed in separate attacks.

In September, at least 54 people—including 51 girls and a young woman—were killed when a suicide bomber detonated a device in a hall in Kabul filled with hundreds of students taking a practice exam for university entrance.

No group claimed responsibility for the blast, but the Taliban later blamed Islamic State and said it had killed several of the ringleaders.

Last May, before the Taliban returned to power, at least 85 people — mostly girls — were killed and about 300 injured when three bombs exploded outside their neighborhood school.

No group has claimed responsibility, but a year earlier IS claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on an education center in the area that killed 24 people.

The Taliban’s return to power ended their insurgency, but IS continues to carry out attacks across the country.

The Taliban, made up mainly of ethnic Pashtuns, has vowed to protect minorities and counter security threats. At least 16 killed, 24 injured in an explosion in northern Afghanistan

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