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Death Toll in Kabul Suicide Bombing Stands at 24

At least 24 people are known to have died in a Saturday suicide bombing outside a tutorial facility in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, according to an Interior Ministry official. Many of the victims were students being prepared for testing prior to applying for university and other forms of higher education. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. The facility is located in western Kabul, an area where many members of the capital’s Shi’ite minority live. In 2018, an ISIS bombing targeted a different education center in the area, killing dozens of students. ISIS’s Sunni adherents consider themselves at odds with Shia Islam. The Taliban, the country’s main Islamist group and now engaged in on-again, off-again peace talks with the government, immediately denied it had anything to do with the bombing. On Saturday night, Afghan security forces killed Abu Muhsin al-Masri, a senior al-Qaida leader on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. Masri is believed to have been al-Qaida’s second-in-command. He was killed during a special operation in Ghazni Province, according to Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security. Masri was wanted in the US for allegedly providing material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization, and conspiring to kill US nationals.