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Bomb explodes near school, wounds 21 in western Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A bomb exploded near a school in western Afghanistan on Monday wounding 21 people, many them young students, a provincial official said.

Ambulances rushed to the site and took the wounded to nearby hospitals, said Abdul Jabar Shahiq, head of the health department in Farah province. At least 10 of the wounded were students at the school between the ages of 7 and 13, he said. He added that three of the wounded were in critical condition.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, though Taliban insurgents have a presence in the region.

The bombing came three days after a powerful suicide truck bomb struck a guesthouse in eastern Afghanistan killing 21 people and wounding 90 others. Most of the casualties in that attack in Lagor province were high school students. No one has claimed responsibility for the late Friday night bombing in Pul-e-Alam, the capital of Logar.

The attack comes two days after the remaining 2,500 to 3,500 American troops officially began leaving the country. They will be out by Sept. 11 at the latest. The pullout comes amid a resurgent Taliban, who control or hold sway over half of Afghanistan.

The top U.S. military officer said Sunday that Afghan government forces face an uncertain future and possibly some “bad possible outcomes” against Taliban insurgents as the withdrawal accelerates in the coming weeks.

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