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Taliban behind Kabul school bombing

December 11, 2014

The Taliban has said it was responsible for a suicide bombing at a Kabul school. The attack, in which several people died, has been condemned by French and German leaders.

Kabul French school attack
Image: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images

A Taliban suicide bomber struck the French-run Esteqlal High School in Kabul on Thursday, killing several people and injuring many more. The school, which also houses the French cultural center, was hosting a play in its auditorium when the terrorist blew himself up.

The AFP quoted Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, who claimed responsibility for the attack in separate email statements sent to the media. Mujahid said the show was "desecrating Islamic values" and spreading "propaganda against jihad."

German citizen possible victim

According to the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, the attack left "several dead". A German citizen was also reported to have been killed in the attack, according to a statement from the Afghan Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Ayoub Salangi. However, neither the German Foreign Ministry nor the German embassy in Kabul were willing to comment.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier did not confirm the death of a German national, but he condemned the attack, saying it was "particularly perfidious" because it was "directed against those people who are supporting the country in building a better future."

French President Francois Hollande also denounced the bombing, saying terrorists were attacking "culture and creativity."

DW correspondent at the scene

Afghanistan Kabul Theater Performance vor Selbstmordanschlag 11.12.2014
A picture of the play, taken by DW correspondent Shadi Khan, who was at the scene when the bomber struckImage: DW/Shadi Khan

DW correspondent Shadi Khan, who had gone to watch the performance and survived the attack, wrote in an email to DW that dozens of men, women and children as well as some foreigners living in Kabul had come to watch the play, called "Heartbeat: Silence after the explosion."

Khan said a blast was heard minutes after the play began: "The blast was loud enough to shatter the roof of the hall that has a capacity of over 1,000 spectators. Inside the hall, chaos erupted, the hall filled up with smoke and all rushed in various directions to escape."

A violent day in Afghanistan

Earlier in the day, a suicide attacker targeted a bus carrying Afghan army personnel, killing six soldiers and wounding 11.

Elsewhere, five school children were killed in airstrikes by foreign forces, according to local officials, although the International Security Assistance Force maintained that the deceased were insurgents.

The recent spate of violent attacks in Afghanistan is believed to be the fallout from international troops withdrawing from the country.

Concerns about further internal violence are also increasing after the US announced it wasn't hosting any prisoners in Afghanistan.

The announcement followed the release of a US Senate Intelligence Committee report that condemned the brutal treatment of terror suspects by the CIA following the 9/11 attacks.

mg/lw (Reuters, AP, dpa, AFP)