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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.

The victims were 11 to 13 years old, he said.

``No one knows who fired the mortar,″ he said. ``They fired the mortar intentionally. We think it was Taliban and al-Qaida.″

He said Taliban and al-Qaida renegades ``want to sabotage the security and stability of this government of Hamid Karzai,″ Azimi said.

However, Azimi said he had no direct evidence linking Taliban and al-Qaida to the attack. 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.

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