Deadly suicide bombing interrupts play condemning suicide bombings

Story highlights

NEW: A German national has been killed in the attack, a Kabul police spokesman says

A suicide bomber detonates explosives during a play called "Silence after the Explosion"

The attack occurred inside a French-funded high school in central Kabul

The Taliban claim responsibility for the attack, a spokesman says

Kabul, Afghanistan CNN  — 

A suicide bomber detonated explosives Thursday inside a French-funded school in Kabul during a play that condemns suicide attacks, leading to deaths and numerous injuries, the French foreign minister said.

The attack happened at Istiqlal High School, a school that includes a French cultural center, in the Afghan capital. The Taliban – the Islamist extremist group fighting against Afghanistan’s ruling government and firmly opposed by various Western powers – claimed responsibility, according to spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

Around 5 p.m., the theater at the school in central Kabul was packed for a performance of a play titled “Heartbeats: Silence after the Explosion.” It abruptly ended about 30 minutes later with a very loud bang, a bright light, smoke and dust, according to witness Zahir Sangar.

“When I tried to escape, I saw tens of people covered in blood, some of them were screaming and some of them were quiet,” the student said.

Acting Afghan Interior Minister Mohammad Ayoub Salangi said that one person was killed and 15 others injured in the bombing.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said a short time later that several people had died. It was not clear exactly how many or whether the suicide bomber was among the fatalities, though Fabius did say that no French citizens were among the casualties.

“All light must be shed on this barbaric act,” Fabius said. “And its perpetrators (must be) identified and brought to justice.”

The dead include a German national, Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai said.

French President Francois Hollande also issued a statement condemning what he called a “heinous attack.”

“By targeting this place of dialogue,” Hollande said, “it is the culture … that terrorists have targeted.”

CNN’s Masoud Popalzai reported from Kabul. CNN’s Greg Botelho reported and wrote from Atlanta.