RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed the Kingdom’s condemnation and denunciation of the terrorist incident that occurred as a result of explosions near a school in the Afghan capital, Kabul, which led to a number of deaths and injuries.
The Ministry reaffirmed the Kingdom's solidarity with Afghanistan and said it stood with the country in the face of violence, extremism and terrorism, affirming the its rejection of criminal acts that are inconsistent with all religious principles and moral and human values, a statement said.
The Ministry offered condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims and the government and people of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and wished the injured a speedy recover
Blasts caused by a car bomb and mortars outside the school killed at least 55 people and wounded over 150, mostly female students, officials said, in an attack President Ashraf Ghani blamed on Taliban insurgents.
A senior security official told Reuters on condition of anonymity that most of the casualties were students coming out of the Sayed ul Shuhada school, and many were badly wounded in hospital.
Footage on TV channel ToloNews showed chaotic scenes, with books and school bags strewn across a bloodstained road, and residents rushing to help victims.
"It was a car bomb blast that occurred in front of the school entrance," an eyewitness told Reuters, asking not to be named. He said all but seven or eight of the victims were schoolgirls going home after finishing their studies.
At the Sayed ul Shuhada high school, girls and boys study in three shifts, the second of which is for female students, Najiba Arian, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Education, told Reuters. The wounded were mostly female students, she said.
Kabul has been on high alert since Washington announced plans last month to pull out all U.S. troops by Sept. 11, with Afghan officials saying the Taliban have stepped up attacks across the country following the announcement.
No group has claimed responsibility for Saturday's attack. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denied the group was involved and condemned the incident.
* With Reuters