KABUL, Afghanistan - The United States closed its last detention facility in Afghanistan and transferred all remaining prisoners to Afghan custody, U.S. officials said Thursday, ending a controversial chapter in America's war against terrorism.
But attacks in Afghanistan's capital and other parts of the country on Thursday underscored the extent to which the conflict remains unfinished, even as most international troops pull out at the end of the month.
A suicide bomber killed six Afghan soldiers and wounded 14 traveling in a military minibus in the first assault in Kabul in more than a week, officials said. Hours later, a teenage suicide bomber struck during an event at a French-run school, killing at least one person and injuring more than 20.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called the attack "barbaric."
He said in a statement: "I firmly condemn this terrorist act which caused the death of several people and left many injured. There were no French victims."
The attack on Istiqlal School, home to the French Cultural Center, unfolded during a performance of a play called Heart Beat, a production about democracy and freedom.
Officials said that about 500 people were in the auditorium and that the bomber apparently was in the audience.
"The suicide bomber was a boy between 15 to 16 years old who had probably hidden the explosives in his underwear," said Abdul Rahman Rahimi, Kabul's police chief.
A reporter for the television network Tolo News witnessed the attack and described it in a broadcast: "While I was filming the show, I suddenly heard a huge sound. I saw dead bodies and wounded people around me, and they were crying for help. But there wasn't anyone to help them. Everyone was running away from the hall."
There were also clashes between Afghan security forces and Taliban insurgents in the central market of Shindand district in western Herat province. Insurgents also fired a rocket at the Bagram Air Base, where U.S. troops are stationed.
But the rocket fell into a field and caused no casualties, said Gen. Zaman Mamozai, the police chief in Parwan province, north of Kabul.
The Afghan capital has been on edge since last month after a series of attacks killed several foreigners, including a South African aid worker and his two children as well as two U.S. soldiers. Taliban insurgents unsuccessfully tried to assassinate Kabul's then-police chief and an outspoken women's activist.
Thursday's attacks, which occurred after a brief lull in the violence, came a day after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani publicly expressed shock at a U.S. Senate report's scathing revelations about the CIA's interrogation tactics, allegedly also employed against many Afghans.
At a news conference, Ghani stressed that a recent bilateral security pact between Kabul and Washington did not allow Americans to run prisons or arrest people in Afghanistan.