Explosion outside Kabul University kills 6, wounds 27

Afghan security forces stand guard near the site of an explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, July 19, 2019. A powerful bomb exploded outside the gates of Kabul University in the Afghan capital on Friday, according to police and health officials. (AP Photo)

Afghan officials: Powerful bomb goes off outside gates of Kabul University, killing 6 people and wounding 27

KABUL, Afghanistan — A powerful bomb exploded outside the gates of Kabul University in the Afghan capital on Friday, killing at least six people and wounding 27, according to police and health officials.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, the latest to target Kabul. Both the Taliban and the Islamic State group often stage large-scale bombings in the city, targeting Afghan forces, government officials and minority Shiites.

The early morning blast also set two vehicles ablaze although it wasn't clear if the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber or a remotely detonated bomb, said Kabul police spokesman Ferdous Faramarz.

The casualty tolls were released by the Health Ministry spokesman, Dr. Wahidullah Mayar, who tweeted that "6 people have been martyred & 27 more wounded, as a result of today's explosion in Kabul. All the wounded patients were evacuated to our hospitals and have been receiving the required treatment."

The university compound houses several hostels where many students stay over the summer, attending classes and conducting research. The university is co-educational.

Though Friday is the start of the weekend in Afghanistan, Massoud, an economics professor at the university who like many Afghans uses only one name, said that several lawyers were taking their exams to become judges when the explosion occurred.

It wasn't immediately clear if the lawyers were the target. In recent months, at least two professors at Kabul University with alleged links to Afghanistan's Islamic State affiliate have been arrested, and last year the wall that surrounds the university was emblazoned with graffiti reading, "Long Live Daesh," the Arabic name for the Islamic State group.

A U.S. Department of Defense intelligence official told The Associated Press that the IS affiliate has stepped up efforts to recruit students from Kabul's universities, particularly those who are tech savvy, to expand the group's strength and reach. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to talk to the media.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said he was not aware of Taliban involvement in Friday's attack.

In a 2016 attack, 13 people were killed, mostly students, and more than 40 people were wounded when militants attacked the American University in Kabul. In that attack, a car bomb exploded outside the university gates, followed by a blistering, hours-long attack in which gunmen roamed through the compound shooting at students and teachers.

___

Gannon reported from Islamabad.

Related News

US: 45,000 Islamic State fighters taken off battlefields

Aug 11, 2016

A top U.S. commander says that the military campaigns against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria have taken 45,000 enemy combatants off the battlefield

Families say Colorado men killed fighting ISIS shared traits

Aug 11, 2016

Two men who were reportedly killed while fighting the Islamic State group in Syria left suburban Denver neighborhoods for a warzone because of camaraderie and an unshakeable drive to right an injustice, their families said Wednesday

2 previous force complaints against academy shooting officer

Aug 11, 2016

The officer who shot and killed a 73-year-old retired librarian during a police academy class resigned from his previous department shortly after two excessive force complaints were filed against him, according to records released Thursday

The Expert Features reports on the issues and the world’s everyday news. Handled by experts in different niches, you will find different subjects and perspectives.