Taliban raid on Ghazni, Afghanistan, leaves 150 civilians dead

Taliban raid on Ghazni, Afghanistan, leaves 150 civilians dead

The public health ministry said 35 wounded had been brought to city hospitals, in addition to the 25 killed, adding to the mounting list of civilian casualties this year.

The attack on Ghazni came as a shock, The Washington Post reported, because the Taliban used massive force, which included non-Afghan Islamist fighters, and the assault showed signs of long-term planning.

One witness, another student named Ali Ahmad, said as many as 100 students may have been inside when the bomber struck, but officials have not yet confirmed the figure.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which was swiftly condemned by President Ashraf Ghani in a statement.

The U.S. military reports, "Ghazni City remains under Afghan government control".

In the past two years, Ghawari said there were at least 13 attacks on the Shiite community in Kabul alone.

Previous attacks on Shiites in Kabul have been claimed by Islamic State.

Meanwhile, a Taliban assault on two adjacent checkpoints in northern Afghanistan late on Tuesday night killed at least 30 soldiers and policemen, officials said.

It was not clear how many students were at the centre at the time of the attack. Officials said 40 of the 70 soldiers at the base surrendered to the Taliban. He said reinforcements have been dispatched to help recapture the checkpoints.

"The Taliban, who falsely and repeatedly claim that they do not target civilians, have executed innocents, destroyed homes, burned a market and created the conditions for a potential humanitarian crisis with this attack", O'Donnell said.

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Although the Taliban overran a base in northern Afghanistan, and Afghan forces were battling insurgents for a fifth day in the eastern city of Ghazni on Tuesday, the USA military reported that the city "remains under Afghan government control".

Taliban had launched an attack last Friday and managed to make their way to the city center. Afghan forces repelled the initial assault and in recent days have struggled to flush the insurgents out of residential areas where they are holed up.

According to the United Nations, up to 150 civilians have been killed in violence in the strategic provincial capital.

The city hospital was overcrowded with hundreds of wounded people and dozens of bodies and people desperately searching for relatives among the dead and wounded.

The bomber targeted a private building in the Shia neighbourhood of Dashte Barchi where a group of young men and women, all high school graduates, were studying for university entrance exams.

An Afghan official says Taliban attacks have killed four police in southern Zabul province.

The U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation formally concluded their combat mission in Afghanistan at the end of 2014, but have since come to the aid of Afghan forces as they struggle to combat the resurgent Taliban. The assault on Ghazni was widely seen as a show of force, ahead of possible peace talks with the United States, which has been at war in Afghanistan for almost 17 years.

Apple, iPhone, and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the USA and other countries. The victims were girls, aged 10-12, who were gathering firewood, he said, blaming the Taliban.

"The Taliban are still roaming the streets and using civilians as human shields". In June, both the Afghan government and the Taliban announced a three-day cease-fire to mark the end of Ramadan-the first one in nearly two decades of war.

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