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One Dead in Kabul School Bombing

February 28, 2002

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) _ A mortar shell slammed into a school east of Kabul on Thursday, killing one child and injuring about 30, a government spokesman said.

Officials blamed the incident on Taliban and al-Qaida renegades, although the area is controlled by a warlord who broke months ago from the former ruling militia.

The explosion happened about 10 a.m. at a school in Sarobi, about 40 miles east of Kabul, according to Interior Ministry official Mohammed Azimi.

Children as young as 8 were hurt, said Rossella Miccio, an administrator at the Italian-run hospital where 18 of the injured were taken. Thirty-five children were in the classroom at the time of the attack, she said.

The explosion happened just as lessons were about to start, families of the wounded children told hospital workers, Miccio said. Relatives described a large hole in the school’s ceiling.

Azimi acknowledged he had no evidence linking the attack to Taliban or al-Qaida forces but said the groups ``want to sabotage the security and stability of this government of Hamid Karzai.″

The area is controlled by Isatullah, who once fought with the U.S.-backed guerrilla group, Hezb-e-Islami, in the war against Soviet occupiers.

Later, he fought with the Taliban but joined the northern alliance when they took control of Kabul in November.

The Sarobi area was site of an incident Nov. 19 in which four international journalists were stopped by armed men along the road, robbed and murdered.

Update hourly