01:41 GMT20 June 2021
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    This comes after US and NATO ground forces started withdrawing from Afghanistan on 1 May in accordance with an announcement made by President Biden last month.

    At least 40 people were killed in multiple blasts near a school in Afghanistan's capital Kabul on Saturday, Reuters reported, citing an Afghan Interior Ministry official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    Earlier, AFP reported, citing the interior ministry spokesman Tareq Arian, that the death toll from the blast rose to 25, while 52 people were injured.

    "Sadly, 25 martyrs and 52 wounded people have been evacuated to hospitals from the site," ministry spokesman Tareq Arian said, as quoted by AFP.

    The blast hit the district of Dasht-e-Barchi as residents were out shopping ahead of Eid-al-Fitr next week, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

    ​The head of the country's 24/7 news channel TOLOnews TV shared a photo from the scene of the explosion.

    ​The explosion occurred outside a girls' school in the western part of Kabul, a heavily Shi’ite Muslim neighbourhood that has frequently come under Daesh* attacks in recent years. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the blast.

    Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has denied the group's involvement in the explosion and condemned the incident.

    The tragedy happened at a time when US and NATO troops have begun withdrawing from Afghanistan following President Biden's announcement last month that the American forces would be out of the country by 11 September, marking the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. 

    *Daesh (IS/ISIS/ISIL) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia. 

    blast, Kabul, Afghanistan
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