AFGHANISTAN. Kabul. On Saturday evening, three consecutive explosions at the entrance door of a school in west of Kabul’s Dasht-e-Barchi area killed over 40 people and wounded over 100 others. Most of the victims were schoolgirls, according to the Afghanistan Interior Ministry.
The explosions occurred at the entrance of Sayed-ul-Shuhada Girls High School around 4:30 pm when the students were leaving for their homes. The slain students were mostly from middle school according to witnesses and the information shared by hospitals.
Sarwar Danish, the Second Vice-President of Afghanistan told CNN that the death toll had risen to 85.
Sources said that the blasts occurred as a result of three rocket landing near the school’s door. According to few other sources, the vehicle loaded with explosives blew up in front of the Sayeed-ul-Shuhada High School.
The school is located in the city’s Shi’ite Muslim-dominated neighborhood of Dasht-e-Barchi area where several other attacks took place, and were claimed by ISIS.
In the earlier hours, the Interior Ministry said at least 30 people – including students – were killed and 52 others wounded in the explosions. But, details by the hospital shows 53 people were killed and 151 others were wounded.
Tariq Arian, the spokesman of Interior Ministry said, mostly young students were among the victims. He added that the death toll could increase. “The comparison of this attack with other past attacks on Kawsar-e-Danish, Mawhood courses, Kabul University, and Logar students, shoes they share similarities, and are carried by the Taliban, ” he said.
So far no group including the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack. The Taliban issued a statement immediately after the incident denying any involvement in the attack. “We condemn blasts in the Dasht-e-Barchi area of Kabul that were carried out against civilians; unfortunately, the blasts left too many casualties, ” the group said. The Taliban blamed the Daesh (IS-K) for the attack.
Meanwhile, the attack has been massively condemned by the Afghan leaders and the international community.
The UN Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has expressed “its deep revulsion at today’s blasts in Dasht-i-Barchi Kabul, ” calling it an “atrocity”.
The European Union in Afghanistan also condemned the attack, saying, “the horrendous attack in Dasht-i Barchi area in Kabul, is a despicable act of terrorism.
Targeting primarily students in a girls’ school makes this an attack on the future of Afghanistan.”
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has condemned the bombing in Kabul, said the Taliban have shown they are not only reluctant to resolve the current crisis peacefully and fundamentally.” Adding that they (Taliban) sabotage peace.
Acting U.S. ambassador in Kabul, Ross Wilson, denounced as “abhorrent” Saturday’s terrorist attack.
Iran, Qatar, and Italy also condemned the attack on Kabul school. Foreign embassies including Japan Italy shared condolences and called for an end to the violence. Italy embassy said educational facilities and the civilian population must be defended, not targeted, and that “such senseless violence needs to stop now.”
The area where the incident happened in Afghanistan’s Hazara community major populated area in western Kabul where they had suffered deadly attacks in the past, and most of them were claimed by the Islamic State terrorist group.
Last year, ISIS stormed a maternity ward of the main hospital in Dasht-e-Barchi, killing at least 24 women, children, and newborn babies. Mowhood and Kowsar Danish training courses had also come under attacks that many students were killed, and ISIS claimed responsibility afterward.
The chaos in the country intensifies as the Taliban and the Afghan government has been battling in several key provinces of Afghanistan, as in Helmand, Baghlan, and Ghazni. It comes as the U.S. and NATO began their troops’ exit from Afghanistan to complete by September 2021.