Bombing outside girls’ school in Afghanistan kills 50, injures 100

KABUL, Afghanistan — A bomb exploded near a girls’ school in Afghanistan on Saturday, killing at least 50 people and wounding 100 more, authorities said.

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Many of the victims at the Sayed Ul-Shuhada high school in a Shiite district west of Kabul were female students between the ages of 11 and 15, according to The Associated Press. The explosions occurred as students were leaving the building, the BBC reported.

The Taliban denied responsibility on Twitter and condemned the attack, The New York Times reported. Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters that the group was not involved and also condemned the bombing.

In a statement, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack in a tweet and blamed the Taliban. He offered no proof, the AP reported.

One of the students fleeing the school said “there was blood everywhere.”

“I was with my classmate, we were leaving the school, when suddenly an explosion happened, " Zahra, 15, told the AP. The girl suffered a broken arm from a piece of shrapnel. “Ten minutes later there was another explosion and just a couple of minutes later another explosion.

“Everyone was yelling and there was blood everywhere, and I couldn’t see anything clearly.”

Zahra’s classmate died, the AP reported.

The school’s principal, Aquila Tawakoli, rushed out to the front gates after hearing the blasts.

“It was like a doomsday that I saw with my own eyes,” Tawakoli told The Washington Post by telephone shortly after the explosion. “Schoolgirls were fleeing back into school, crying and screaming.”

Afghan officials said they believe a car bomb and mortars caused the explosions, the BBC reported.

At the high school, girls and boys study in three shifts, Reuters reported. Female students attend during the second shift, according to Najiba Arian, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Education.

Several witnesses described hearing three separate explosions, the BBC reported.

One woman told AFP news agency she had seen “many bloodied bodies in dust and smoke.”

“I saw a woman checking the bodies and calling for her daughter,” the woman, Reza, told AFP. “She then found her daughter’s bloodstained purse after which she fainted and fell to the ground.”