A blast hit an Afghanistan school in the capitol of Kabul, claiming multiple lives, including schoolchildren.
A series of deadly blasts in the Afghanistan capital of Kabul took the lives of at least six people, among them children, while wounding at least 17 others. The deadly explosions took place inside the entrance of the Abdul Rahim Shahid High School and close to the Mumtaz Education Center which is located a few kilometers away from the school. There were no reports of any casualties at the education center.
While no one group has claimed responsibility for the deadly blasts, it is an area that has been targeted in the past by Afghanistan’s ISIL group. The high school is located in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood which is filled with Shia Muslims. ISIL considers Shia Muslims heretics.
The first explosion that rocked the Afghanistan high school took place just as students were leaving their morning classes. The school can hold upwards of 1,000 students, though it wasn’t clear just how many kids were attending school that day. One student wounded in the deadly blasts said via Aljazeera, “We were leaving school and had just stepped out from the rear gate when the explosion occurred.”
It was when rescue workers arrived to help clear the area and move the survivors to safety that the second explosion happened. “Some of our friends have lost hands, while some were covered in blood,” claimed a student at the school. “There were pieces of broken glass and pools of blood … My whole body was shaking.”
United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan immediately condemned the grotesque attack saying in part in a tweet, “UNAMA unequivocally condemns heinous attack on schools in #Kabul today. Those responsible for the crime targeting schools & children must be brought to justice.” In that same tweet, U.N. envoy Deborah Lyons offered her condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to those wounded in the blasts.
As the wounded made their way to the nearby hospitals, Taliban fighters were seen fighting off families of the Afghanistan high school students who were there searching for their children or any information they could get. A number of times women cried out in despair as they scanned the pictures of the known victims. Many others were left to sit and wait for further news and bodies.
The Shia Muslims, historically, is one of Afghanistan’s most discriminated ethnic groups. They have been victims of constant violence, although that had subsided over the winter months. Chris Nyamandi, director for the humanitarian group Save the Children’s Afghanistan Country condemned the violence and said in a statement, “Save the Children is outraged and strongly condemns the reported attack on a high school today in Kabul. We’re deeply saddened about reports that children have been injured, and possibly killed, in the blasts.”
According to one unnamed official at the Afghanistan high school explosion site, the explosive devices were hidden inside backpacks left at the school. One was set inside the school gates and one was waiting for them on the outside. Both did horrific damage.
Since the United States’ abrupt departure from the Afghanistan region, the Taliban has resumed control. They say they have fully secured the country since assuming power but they have found ISIL to be a thorn in their side. ISIL has since claimed a number of deadly attacks.
Nearly one year ago, at least 85 people were killed in the same Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood when three bombs exploded. Most of those killed and injured were female students at a secondary school. These explosions were from a car bomb and two improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
The tragic deaths at the Afghanistan high school are just another sad, violent episode that haunts the region. Just recently, Pakistani military airstrikes hit Khost and Kunar in eastern Afghanistan. The damage included 47 civilians who died, most being women and children.
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