Gunmen besiege Afghan intel compound in Kabul

Rights groups condemn Kabul school blast as outrage grows

Rights groups condemn Kabul school blast as outrage grows

Up to 48 students were killed and 67 others injured in the suicide bomb blast on the private education centre in Kabul's Dasht-e-Barchi area.

As Afghanistan's Shiites mourned their dead and held funeral services Thursday, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the horrific suicide bombing in Kabul that targeted a Shiite neighborhood the previous day, killing 34 students.

At least 100 security forces were killed in the fight for Ghazni, officials have said, with unconfirmed fears that at least as many civilians died.

Police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai said the attack unfolded shortly after 4pm in the limits of 18th police district.

"We lost everything to Daesh, and now the government sends helicopters for them from Kabul and brings them here and gives them rice and meat and mineral water, and provides them with security, and we are not even able to find food", a resident of Jawzjan province, Abdul Hamid, told the Times in early August.

An industrial-sized digger helped soften the arid ground for the fresh graves as men removed rocks from the soil with pickaxes.

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ISIL claimed that more than 200 people were killed in Wednesday's attack, which was disavowed by Afghanistan's main insurgent group, the Taliban.

Amnesty warned it proved "beyond any doubt that Afghanistan and, in particular, its capital Kabul, are not safe", and said European countries must stop returning Afghan refugees to the war-torn country.

Since January, at least 16 attacks have taken place in Kabul, leaving over 240 dead.

"Death to your ceasefire and death to your ghost peace talks", cried one of the funeral attendees.

His brother, Nusratullah, was around 17 years old, he said, sobbing over the phone.

"The city smelled of blood", shopkeeper Basir Ahmad said after fleeing to Kabul on Wednesday.

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The Afghan president visited the embattled southeastern city of Ghazni on Friday, a week after the Taliban managed to infiltrate deep into the key provincial capital and capture several areas.

Small pockets of Ghazni began opening up to humanitarian aid on Thursday, while partial mobile service returned after telecommunications infrastructure and government buildings were destroyed during the onslaught.

President Ashraf Ghani strongly condemned the suicide attack and said the terrorists by attacking cultural and educational centers once again demonstrated their enmity with Islam and teachings of the holy Prophet (PBUH).

Mattis also said the Taliban is trying to "up the ante" ahead of an expected cease-fire offer from the Afghan government and elections scheduled for October.

Militant attacks and suicide bombings were the leading causes of civilian deaths in the first half of 2018, a recent United Nations report showed.

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