Small Wars Journal

Spate of Deadly Violence Darkens Peace Prospects in Afghanistan

Spate of Deadly Violence Darkens Peace Prospects in Afghanistan by Craig Nelson, Habib Khan Totakhil and Ehsanullah Amiri – Wall Street Journal

KABUL—A blast that killed scores of students preparing here for their university entrance examinations capped an extraordinary week of violence in Afghanistan, undermining what the U.S. and Afghan governments had considered real prospects for an imminent cease-fire and a new round of peace talks with the Taliban.

Afghanistan’s Health Ministry said at least 48 people were killed and another 67 wounded in the capital on Wednesday when a man wearing an explosives vest blew himself up in a classroom full of students. The blast left the floor strewn with twisted metal, broken desks and human limbs.

Suspicion for carrying out the bombing fell immediately on the extremist Sunni Muslims of Islamic State, whose local affiliate has been behind a spate of attacks in mainly Shiite neighborhoods of western Kabul, where Wednesday’s blast occurred.

The Taliban, the country’s largest insurgency, denied responsibility for the Kabul suicide attack, but it came on the back of an unusually deadly series of actions the militants have undertaken since Friday, when they launched a predawn attack on the strategic eastern city of Ghazni, about a two-hour drive from Kabul…

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