May 8 (UPI) — A bombing outside a high school in Kabul, Afghanistan, killed at least 30 people and injured more than 50 Saturday, government officials said.
The bombing occurred around 4 p.m. as the girls were leaving the Sayed Ul-Shuhada high school, local officials told The New York Times.
Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian announced in a tweet that 52 civilians sustained injuries.
Mohammad Ali Jinnah hospital chief Dr. Mohammad Dawood Danish told the Times 20 bodies and more than 40 injured people were transferred to his hospital, most of them students.
“The health condition of a number of girls is critical,” Danish added.
The bombing was the deadliest since ramped up attacks following the start of U.S. and NATO troop withdrawal from the country last week, The Washington Post reported.
On the eve of the start of withdrawal, a car bomb killed more than 20 people in Logar, a province just south of Kabul, according to the Post and the Times. No one has claimed responsibility for either attack.
The Taliban specifically denied responsibility for the latest bombing in a tweet.
“We condemn today’s blast,” in Kabul, “which targeted civilians and sadly caused heavy losses,” Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the militant group, said in a tweet.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani still blamed the extremist organization for the bombing.
The Taliban is “reluctant to resolve the current crisis peacefully and fundamentally,” Ghani said in a statement.
From the eve of the troop withdrawal through Thursday, at least 140 pro-government forces and 44 civilians were killed, the highest death toll in a single week since October, according to a Times tally.