KABUL, Sept 30 (Al Jazeera): A suicide bomber has attacked an educational institute in the Afghan capital, killing at least 19 people.
As many as 27 others were wounded in the blast early on Friday, which occurred in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighbourhood of western Kabul, a predominantly Shia Muslim area home to the minority Hazara community, according to police spokesman Khalid Zadran.
"Students were preparing for an exam when a suicide bomber struck at this educational centre. Unfortunately, 19 people have been martyred and 27 others wounded," he said.
Videos posted online and photos published by local media showed bloodied victims being carried away from the scene.
The victims included high school graduates, both girls and boys, who were taking a practice university entrance exam at the Kaj education centre when the blast went off, Zadran said. Schools are typically closed in Afghanistan on Fridays.
"Attacking civilian targets proves the enemy's inhuman cruelty and lack of moral standards," he said, without specifying who was believed to be behind the attack.
One wounded student said the victims were mostly girls.
"We were around 600 (students) in the classroom, but most of the casualties are among girls," the male student told the AFP news agency from the hospital where he was being treated.
No group immediately claimed responsibility.
"We didn't find her here," said a distressed woman looking for her sister at one of the hospitals. "She was 19 years old."
Resident Ghulm Sadiq said he was at home when he heard a loud sound. He went outside to see smoke rising from the education centre where he and neighbours rushed to help.
"My friends and I were able to move around 15 wounded and nine dead bodies from the explosion site … Other bodies were lying under chairs and tables inside the classroom," he said.
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