At least one dead after bomb hits French-run school in Kabul; 6 soldiers also killed on bus

Afghan security forces stand near the site of a suicide attack in Kabul on Dec 11, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Afghan security forces stand near the site of a suicide attack in Kabul on Dec 11, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

KABUL (Reuters) - A suicide bomber attacked a French-run high school in Afghanistan's capital on Thursday, killing at least one person hours after another bomb left six Afghan soldiers dead on the outskirts of Kabul, officials said.

The Afghan capital has been hit by a series of bombings and armed attacks this year as most foreign combat troops prepare to withdraw at the end of the month.

Deputy Interior Minister General Ayoub Salangi said the suspected school bomber was about 17 years old and detonated his explosive vest inside the venue, killing at least one person and wounding 16 others during an event at the school.

Taleban militants have stepped up a campaign of violence to try to take advantage of uncertainty and weaknesses besetting Afghanistan's security forces as they prepare to take over the war on the insurgency, now in its 13th year.

Earlier Thursday, a suicide bomber targeted a bus carrying Afghan army personnel, killing six soldiers and wounding 11, the Defence Ministry said, ending a near two-week lull in attacks in the capital.

Dawlat Waziri, deputy spokesman for the Afghan Defence Ministry, said a bomber on foot targeted the bus in the Tarakhil area of eastern Kabul early in the morning when the army personnel were on their way to work. "Unfortunately, we lost six soldiers and 11 others were wounded in the suicide attack," said Waziri.

Five Afghan school children were also reported killed in a foreign forces air strike in northern Parwan province, officials said, but the international military coalition said those killed were insurgents.

The International Security Assistance Force confirmed an air strike in the area, but said five insurgents were killed.

Civilian casualties caused by air power have been one of the most contentious issues of the war, though there are often conflicting claims.