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Bomb kills at least 30 as it explodes outside Kabul girls' school

At least 30 people are dead, many of them children aged between 11 and 15-years-old, after a bomb exploded near a girls' school in Afghanistan.

The Taliban condemned the attack, which took place on Saturday in a majority Shiite district of west Kabul, and denied any responsibility - claiming it could only 'Islamic State'.

Ambulances evacuated the wounded as relatives and residents screamed at authorities near the scene of the blast at Syed Al-Shahda school, in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood.

Afghan men try to identify the daed bodies at a hospital after a bomb explosion near a school west of Kabul,

The bombing, apparently aimed to cause maximum civilian carnage, adds to fears that violence in the war-wrecked country could escalate as the US and NATO end nearly 20 years of military engagement

Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said the death toll is expected to rise further.

The bombing, apparently aimed to cause maximum civilian carnage, adds to fears that violence in the war-wrecked country could escalate as the US and NATO end nearly 20 years of military engagement.

Residents in the area said the explosion was deafening.

One, Naser Rahimi said he heard three separate explosions, although there was no official confirmation of multiple blasts.

Rahimi also said he believed that the sheer power of the explosion meant the death toll would almost certainly climb.

Ambulances evacuated the wounded as relatives and residents screamed at authorities near the scene of the blast at Syed Al-Shahda school, in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood

At one nearby hospital, Associated Press journalists saw at least 20 dead bodies lined up in hallways and rooms, with dozens of wounded people and families of victims pressing through the facility

Authorities were investigating the attack but have yet to confirm any details.

While no one has claimed responsibility for the bombing, the Afghan Islamic State affiliate has targeted the Shiite neighbourhood before.

The radical Sunni Muslim group has declared war on Afghanistan's minority Shiite Muslims.

Washington blamed IS for a vicious attack last year in a maternity hospital in the same area that killed pregnant women and newborn babies.

In Dasht-e-Barchi, angry crowds attacked the ambulances and even beat health workers as they tried to evacuate the wounded, Health Ministry spokesman Ghulam Dastigar Nazari said.

He implored residents to cooperate and allow ambulances free access to the site.

Images circulating on social media purportedly showed bloodied school backpacks and books strewn across the street in front if the school, and smoke rising above the neighbourhood.

At one nearby hospital, Associated Press journalists saw at least 20 dead bodies lined up in hallways and rooms, with dozens of wounded people and families of victims pressing through the facility.

Outside the Muhammad Ali Jinnah Hospital, dozens of people lined up to donate blood, while family members checked casualty posted lists on the walls.

Both Arian and Nazari said that at least 50 people were also wounded, and that the casualty toll could rise.

The attack occurred just as the fasting day came to an end.

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