A suicide bomber killed 15 Afghan army trainees as they were leaving their base in Kabul on Saturday, the defense ministry said, in the latest deadly attack in the capital.
"This afternoon when a minibus carrying army cadets was coming out of the military academy, a suicide bomber on foot targeted them, martyring 15 and wounding four," defense ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri told AFP.
Kabul Crime Branch chief General Mohammad Salim Almas said police have launched an investigation into the attack which happened in the west of the city.
"The minibus was carrying army trainees to their homes from Marshal Fahim military academy," Almas told AFP.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, according to their spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, who said that 27 academy members were killed.
It was the second suicide bombing in the Afghan capital in 24 hours and the seventh major assault in Afghanistan since Tuesday, taking the total death toll to more than 200, with hundreds more wounded.
The spate of deadly attacks underscores deteriorating security across the war-torn country as the resurgent Taliban step up their attacks on police and military bases and Daesh continue to target Shiite mosques.
It was the fifth time since Tuesday that militants have launched a major attack against Afghanistan's beleaguered security forces already badly demoralized by high casualties and desertions.
Meanwhile, a number of parliamentarians criticized the U.S. for not doing enough to prevent the surge of terrorist attacks in the country despite their large-scale resources.
Abdul Sattar Khawasi said that the U.S. signed the Bilateral Security Agreement with Afghanistan just to secure its geo-strategic objectives in the region rather than honestly pledging to help bring peace.
In the deadliest of the recent attacks, around 50 Afghan soldiers were killed in a Taliban-claimed assault on a military base in the southern province of Kandahar.
Insurgents blasted their way into the compound using two explosives-laden Humvees -- a tactic used in three separate attacks this week -- officials said.
The militants razed the base in the Chashmo area of Maiwand district to the ground, according to the defense ministry.
Afghan security forces have faced soaring casualties in their attempts to hold back the insurgents since NATO combat forces pulled out of the country at the end of 2014.
Casualties leapt by 35 percent in 2016, with 6,800 soldiers and police killed, according to U.S. watchdog SIGAR.
The insurgents have carried out more complex attacks against security forces in 2017, with SIGAR describing troop casualties in the early part of the year as "shockingly high."
The attacks included assaults on a military hospital in Kabul in March which may have killed up to 100 people, and on a base in Mazar-i-Sharif in April which left 144 people dead.
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