China links Kabul bombings to ‘abrupt US withdrawal’

Expressing shock over killings in Kabul in a string of blasts on Saturday, China linked the rise in attacks across Afghanistan to “abrupt US forces withdrawal” from the war-torn country.

“It needs to be pointed out that the recent abrupt US announcement of complete withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan has led to a succession of explosive attacks throughout the country, worsening the security situation and threatening peace and stability as well as people’s life and safety,” Hua Chunying, spokeswoman for Chinese Foreign Ministry, said in a statement released late Sunday.

At least 58 were killed in bombings on Saturday evening which rocked Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood inhabited by the ethnic Shia Hazara minority.

Over 150 people were also injured in back-to-back explosions in front of the Sayed Al-Shuhada school.

The explosions took place when students were leaving for home at around 4.30 p.m. (1200GMT) and most of the victims were young girls, Mir Wais, spokesperson for the Health Ministry, told Anadolu Agency.

“China calls on foreign troops in Afghanistan to take into full account the security of people in the country and the region, pull out in a responsible manner and avoid inflicting more turmoil and suffering on the Afghan people,” Hua said.

The US announced it would have completely withdrawn its forces from Afghanistan by September this year, ending its longest war after it struck a deal with Taliban last year.

“China opposes violent extremism in all its manifestations,” the spokeswoman said, adding that Beijing will continue its “firm support for the Afghan government and people in their efforts to combat terrorism and safeguard national security and stability.”

“We also stand ready to work with the international community to help Afghanistan realize peace at an early date,” she added.

The attack has been widely condemned by the UN, the EU, the US State Department, and NATO, among others. Taliban also condemned and denied its involvement.

Source: Anadolu Agency