Taliban Kills at Least 35 Afghan Soldiers at Military Outpost

Taliban Kills at Least 35 Afghan Soldiers at Military Outpost”

The firefight erupted near a training center overseen by the National Security Directorate - Afghanistan's intelligence agency - with the gunmen holed up in a construction site near residential buildings, an official at the scene said.

In the past two years, there have been at least 13 attacks on the Shiite community in Kabul alone.

Security forces however immediately cordoned off the area after the attack was launched and evacuated residents in the immediate area.

UNICEF, the United Nations agency that aids the world's most disadvantaged children, expressed alarm over the attack on the education center.

The latest incident comes at a time of high tension following a series of attacks including a full-scale assault on the city of Ghazni last week.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Khurasan (ISIS-K) has claimed responsibility behind the deadly attack in capital Kabul targeting an education center. Majority were students studying for university entrance exams. "Mounting civilian casualties show beyond any doubt that Afghanistan and, in particular, its capital, Kabul, are not safe".

UNICEF, meanwhile, branded the attack "deplorable" and called for parties on all sides of the conflict to protect children.

The UN Security Council also issued a statement condemning the "heinous and cowardly" attack.

The United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation launched airstrikes and sent military advisers to aid Afghan forces as they fight for the city, just 120 kilometers (75 miles) from the Afghan capital with a population of some 270,000 people.

Mourners decried the unrelenting bloodshed, while others dismissed murmurings of possible ceasefires and peace negotiations between the government and the Taliban, even though the attack was claimed by IS. The victims were girls, aged 10-12, who were gathering firewood, he said, blaming the Taliban.

On Wednesday, 48 people were killed in the bombing of an education centre.

Analysts have suggested the Taliban may be trying to shore up its position before any potential negotiations by proving they can hit government installations at will.

But officials have also said they are bracing for more violence with the approach of parliamentary elections in October.

Afghanistan has experienced a recent upsurge in militant violence, including a major Taliban assault on the eastern city of Ghazni.

Small pockets of Ghazni began opening up to humanitarian aid Thursday, while partial mobile service returned after telecommunications infrastructure and government buildings were destroyed during the onslaught. "The fighting killed more than 120 security forces and civilians and more than 200 insurgents".

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