At least 48 killed, 67 injured in suicide blast in Kabul

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.

The death toll from a suicide blast at an educational centre in a mainly Shi’ite area of the Afghan capital on Wednesday reached 48, with another 67 wounded, the health ministry said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, which came after several weeks of relative calm in Kabul but previous attacks on Shi’ite targets in the area have been claimed by Islamic State.

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 Oct. 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. Reuters