19 dead as blast hits education centre in Kabul

A suicide bomber struck an education centre in a Shia area of the Afghan capital on Friday, killing 19 people and wounding 27, including teenagers who were taking practice entry exams for university, a Taliban spokesman said.

The morning explosion at the centre took place in Kabul's Dasht-e-Barchi neighbourhood, an area populated mostly by ethnic Hazaras, who belong to Afghanistan's minority Shia community. The Islamic State group has carried out repeated, horrific attacks on schools, hospitals and mosques in Dasht-e-Barchi and other Shia areas in recent years.

Around 300 recent high school graduates, boys and girls, had come to the Kaaj Higher Educational Center at 6:30 a.m. to take practice exams, said one survivor, 19-year-old Shafi Akbary. The facility helps students prepare and study for the entrance exams, among other activities.

About an hour into the session, the blast went off.

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