Gunmen attack intelligence training center in Kabul

Gunmen attack intelligence training center in Kabul

A suicide bomber attacked an education center in a Shi'ite district of the Afghan capital city of Kabul, killing at least 48 students and wounding 67 others.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which follows nearly a week of high-profile assaults largely by the Taliban that have killed at least 311 people, mostly government soldiers and police.

"A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, said the group targeted a military base and two checkposts in Baghlan, killing 70 Afghan security forces, and seizing armoured vehicles and ammunition".

Meanwhile, Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanekzai said the attackers had fired rocket-propelled grenades as well as automatic rifles, and that security forces had held back from assaulting the building where the gunmen had taken position, Reuters reports.

According to Kabul police, the assailants used a nearby house under construction to stage the attack, which sparked exchanges of gunfire lasting several hours, followed by explosions.

The UN Security Council also issued a statement condemning the "heinous and cowardly" attack. Afghan special forces had arrived at the scene, Rahimi added.

Life was gradually returning to normal Wednesday in parts of the eastern city of Ghazni after a massive, days-long Taliban attack, though sporadic gunbattles was still underway in some neighborhoods. Confusion about the death toll arose Wednesday as Kabul hospitals and government officials struggled to cope with the carnage.

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

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.

The latest fighting has raised questions over prospects for peace talks between the Taliban and the Western-backed government ahead of next week's Eid al-Adha, a major annual Muslim festival.

The surge in violence comes just weeks after Afghans marked an unprecedented country-wide ceasefire between the Taliban and government forces in June, offering temporary relief to civilians.

Mohammad Arif Shahjahan, an MP from Ghazni, told CNN Monday Taliban fighters had taken control of key buildings, including the police headquarters and some government offices.

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

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