Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish has blamed the Taliban for the deadly bombing near an education center in the west of Kabul, which, according to sources, killed 30 people and wounded 70, mostly students.
Danish, in a series of tweets, called on the people to come together and get ready “for tougher days.” He asked Afghanistan’s allies, especially the United States and the United Nations, to prevent the ruthless killing of the people of Afghanistan “by the Taliban.”
The Taliban rejected their involvement in the attack a few minutes after it happened at around 4:30pm Kabul time on Saturday.
“It was a terrorist incident that was the continuation of crimes by the Taliban and their allies, crimes against the people of Afghanistan, education centers, holy places and clinics.,” said Tariq Arian, spokesman for the Interior Affairs Ministry.
Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack, according to AFP. Social media users called Daesh's statement fake and said it shows the group has not carried out the attack.
One Twitter user said the statement had been Google-translated.
“I don’t know who is behind the attack,” said Mohammad Musa, the relative of a victim.
Some politicians also doubted the involvement of Daesh in the attack and said the group “has been defeated.”
“The Taliban did not claim responsibility. Daesh is vague... Anyone can do anything he wants and simply link it to Daesh,” Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar said.
“It is the responsibility of the security and intelligence agencies to find who resources and perpetrates such incidents,” said Waqif Hakimi, a member of the Jamiat-e-Islami party’s leadership.
“These incidents are damaging the (peace) negotiations. The negotiations should be carried out in a calm situation and after a ceasefire is announced,” said Mohammad Akbari, a former mujahideen leader.
The attack was widely condemned by Afghan leaders and politicians as well as foreign diplomats, but, notably, US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad did not mention the attack in his tweet hours after the incident. He only condemned the increase in violence in Taliban attacks and an airstrike by Afghan forces in Takhar.
“He (Khalilzad) did not have a reaction to a big crime that happened against our countrymen and killed many of them yesterday. It is disappointing,” said Hashmatullah, a Kabul resident.
“Khalilzad has a problem with the government; therefore, he highlighted the Takhar issue but did not mention the incident in which over 100 people were killed and wounded,” said Saif-Ur-Rahman Habibi, a Kabul resident.
Meanwhile, the acting minister of interior affairs, Massoud Andarabi, in reaction to the recent killing of al-Qaeda member Abu Mohsin al Misri, said it is a “clear indication” of the Taliban’s ties with al-Qaeda.