Suicide Bomber Attack Leaves 19 People Dead

( Last Friday, a suicide bomber struck a school hall in Kabul that was packed with students preparing for exams, killing at least 30 people, most of them young women.

The blast occurred at the Kaaj Higher Educational Center, which coaches young students preparing to take university entrance exams. About 600 were in the hall at the time of the blast.

The bombing happened in the Dash-e-Barchi neighborhood of Kabul, an area largely populated by Afghanistan’s minority Shiite community. A nearby shopkeeper described hearing a massive explosion and seeing crowds of students rushing out of the center.

According to a teacher at the Center, attackers first shot and killed the security guards at the entrance, then wounded two other people before the suicide bomber went inside the hall to detonate an explosive vest.

A source at Ali Jenha hospital in Kabul told CBS News that the bodies of 28 victims and another 32 wounded had been taken to the facility after the blast, most of those were young women between 18 and 25.

Abdul Nafy Takor, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s interior ministry, described the attack as “inhuman cruelty” and said security teams were deployed to the site.

Fearing a follow-up attack, members of the Taliban forced the families of the victims to leave at least one of the hospitals.

By Friday afternoon, reporters were allowed to visit the education center. According to an AFP reporter, the roof over the hall where the students were gathered had completely collapsed and the doors and windows were blown out.

Afghanistan’s Shiite population has faced persecution from the Taliban for decades. And since the Taliban returned to power last year, the persecution against the Shiites has been on the rise.

As yet, no group claimed responsibility for last Friday’s suicide bombing, however, last year ISIS claimed credit for a similar suicide attack on an education center in the Dash-t-Barchi neighborhood.