The Ministry of Interior Affairs of Afghanistan stated that at least 18 people were killed and dozens more were injured after a suicide bomb attack took place outside a private education center offering sources for students in higher education in the nation's capital city of Kabul. Local media sources say that many of those injured are in serious condition, and the death toll is expected to rise. The building typically hosts hundreds of students, and is located in the Dasht-e-Barchi areas, a predominately Shia Muslim area. The Shia community in Afghanistan has previously been the target of Sunni Muslim extremist groups such as the Islamic State group, which views the Shia practice of Islam as heretical.
Following the attack, the Taliban militant group denied any involvement in the attack while the Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility in the bombing through their social media platforms, though they did not provide any evidence. Security force spokespeople say that the attack started in the afternoon, and the attacker wanted to enter the education center. However, when the bomber was identified by security guards, he detonated his explosives prematurely.
In the recent weeks, Afghanistan has seen a surge of of attacks, many carried out by the Taliban group. However, on October 16th, the Taliban group agreed to suspend attacks in southern Afghanistan after the United States of America vowed to cease all airstrikes and night raids in accordance to a bilateral agreement the US signed with the group in February.
The latest bombing comes as representatives of the Taliban hold their first-ever face-to-face talks with officials of the Afghan government in Qatar in an effort to put an end to the 19 year-long war.
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