Afghanistan: Dozens killed in ISIL attack near Kabul University

   BLAST The explosion happened next to the University of Kabul

DS BLAST The explosion happened next to the University of Kabul

Nasrat Rahimi, deputy interior ministry spokesman, said the bomber blew himself up near the Kart-e Sakhi shrine, a target of previous militant attacks.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group claimed responsibility for Wednesday's attack, which took place close to Kabul University and Ali Abad hospital, its Amaq news agency said.

A suicide attacker on foot detonated himself in front of Kabul University as Afghans celebrated Nowruz holiday marking the start of the Persian new year. Authorities had already launched an inestigation into the security breach and anyone found to have neglected their duties would be punished, he added. No one immediately claimed the attack, but Afghanistan is home to a powerful Islamic State affiliate that has repeatedly targeted Shi'ites, who the Sunni extremists view as apostates deserving of death.

Earlier this month another Islamic State suicide bomber targeted Afghanistan's ethnic Hazaras, killing nine people and wounding 18 others. "The martyrdom operation carried out with a suicide vest struck a Shiite gathering during their Nauruz holiday celebrations in the city of Kabul", it said.

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As UNAMA continues to verify civilian casualties from the incident, initial reports indicate that at least 25 civilians were killed and many others injured.

Photo Victims' bodies at a hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, after the suicide bombing of a crowd celebrating Nowruz, the Persian New Year, on Wednesday.

The Taliban has been resurgent since the withdrawal of US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation combat troops at the end of 2014, taking back territory and devastating Afghanistan's beleaguered security forces.

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