KABUL, Afghanistan — At least 50 children are among nearly 100 people wounded today when the Taliban detonate a powerful car bomb in an area of Kabul housing military and government buildings, officials say.
The rush-hour blast, which sends a plume of smoke into the air and shakes buildings nearly two kilometers (1.2 miles) away, is followed by gunmen storming a building and triggering a gun battle with special forces in the Puli Mahmood Khan neighborhood of the Afghan capital.
The health ministry says at least one person had been killed and 93 wounded. Among them are 50 children, the education ministry says in a statement, adding that most had been hurt by flying glass and are in stable condition.
Some social media images purportedly taken at a hospital show wounded, stunned children in school uniforms, still clutching books as they arrive for treatment.
In its statement, the education ministry says five schools are partially damaged, and asks “all sides involved in fighting to guarantee the safety of students, teachers, education workers and schools.”
The Taliban-claimed attack comes just two days after the insurgents began a seventh round of talks with the US in Qatar as Washington eyes a breakthrough before Afghanistan’s September presidential election.