At least 40 people – many believed to be female students – have been killed after multiple blasts targeted a school in west Kabul, according to Afghan government officials.

At least 50 are also reported to have been injured by the blast, which happened in the Shia-majority neighbourhood of Dasht-e-Barchi.

No group has yet claimed responsibility but the area has often been attacked by Islamic State militants over the years.

Most of the casualties are believed to be female students who were going home.

The school operates three shifts, the second of which is for girls, said education ministry spokeswoman Najiba Arian.

“The horrendous attack in Dasht-i Barchi area in Kabul, is an despicable act of terrorism,” said the EU mission in
Afghanistan said on Twitter.

“Targeting primarily students in a girls’ school, makes this an attack on the future of Afghanistan.”

Angry crowds attacked ambulances heading to the site near Syed Al-Shahda school, said health ministry spokesman Ghulam Dastigar Nazari.

The Afghan capital is on high alert since the US said last month that it would withdraw all its remaining troops by 11 September.

Officials say the Taliban has increased attacks since the announcement.

However, spokesman for the group Zabihullah Mujahid denied its involvement in the school attack and condemned the incident.

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