An explosion in northern Afghanistan killed 15 people at a religious school in an alleged attack that the Taliban have labeled as an “unforgivable crime.”
“This is the handiwork of the enemies of the people of Afghanistan who target innocent people and children,” Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban’s permanent representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations, told Fox News Digital. “No doubt, their true nature is revealed to the world and to the Afghan people through their gruesome and horrendous acts.”
“All those individuals or entities who help them carry out such tragic incidents are complicit in this crime,” he added, saying that “in retrospect, ISIS is behind such tragic incidents.”
The blast occurred at around 12:45 p.m. – the time of afternoon prayers. Initial reports indicated that 10 people had died, but the number rose to 15 within a few hours, with at least 20 others injured in Wednesday’s blast, Al Jazeera reported.
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Video distributed by the Taliban to media outlets in the country showed the aftermath of the explosion, which included shots of dead bodies, bloodstains on the floor and scattered debris of prayer mats and shoes.
“Our detective and security forces are working to identify the perpetrators of this unforgivable crime and bring them to justice,” federal Interior Ministry spokesperson Abdul Nafi Takor told reporters.
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Former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai wrote in a tweet that he strongly condemned the “terrorist act” and called it a “crime against humanity.”
“The work of enemies of the people and all human and Islamic values calls the opposite action,” he wrote, offering deep condolences to the families of the victims.
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A doctor, who spoke with the AFP anonymously, said that “All of them are children and ordinary people,” but that most of the casualties were youngsters. The city also hosts a majority population of ethnic Uzbeks.
The U.S. State Department did not respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment by time of publication.
No one has claimed responsibility yet for the attack on the school in Afghanistan’s Samangan province, but an Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State has waged a campaign of violence against the new government since its takeover in Aug. 2021.
Another explosion in August at a mosque in the capital city of Kabul killed 21 people and injured another 33 people. A car bomb in September killed seven people and wounded 41 others. In each case, no one took responsibility in the immediate aftermath.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.