Suicide bombing near Afghanistan educational centre kills at least 48

An injured man is carried to hospital after a blast in Kabul, Aug 15, 2018.
An injured man is carried to hospital after a blast in Kabul, Aug 15, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

KABUL (REUTERS) - A suspected suicide bomber blew himself up in front of an educational centre in a mainly Shi'ite area in the west of the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday (Aug 15), killing at least 48 people.

The health ministry said another 67 people were wounded.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, which came after several weeks of relative calm in Kabul but previous attacks on Shi'ite targets in the area have been claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The Taleban, who have been intensifying their attacks against military and government centres in recent weeks, issued a statement denying involvement.

The attack occurred as the government was facing heavy pressure over a Taleban attack on the central city of Ghazni that led to five days of intense fighting during which hundreds of civilians and members of the security forces were killed.

The attack on Ghazni, one of the biggest seen for years in Afghanistan, fuelled criticism that President Ashraf Ghani's Western-backed government was incapable of protecting the country.

With parliamentary elections due on Oct 20, the government had been bracing for more attacks in Kabul and other cities, even while hopes of peace talks with the Taleban had been fuelled by a three day truce during the Eid al-Fitr holiday in June.