At least 19 dead in suicide bomb attack on Kabul education centre

At least 19 dead in suicide bomb attack on Kabul education centre

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At least 19 people were killed and 27 injured after a suicide bombing at an education centre in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Friday, a Taliban spokesperson said.

The blast targeting young students took place at the Kaaj education centre in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighbourhood of Kabul around 7.30am local time.

The teenage students were taking an exam at the time of the blast, officials at the education centre said.

The attack took place in a Hazara minority community-dominated area which has been a target in past attacks as well.

The Islamic State group — the chief rival of the Taliban since their takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021 — has targeted the people of the Hazara community in the past.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Taliban’s interior ministry spokesperson condemned the attack, saying: “Attacking civilian targets proves the enemy’s inhuman cruelty and lack of moral standards.”

“Our teams have been dispatched at the site of the blast to find out more details,” Abdul Nafi Takor, added.

Disturbing visuals in the aftermath of the attack showed debris, blood stains and shattered benches across a classroom.

Another video showed family members crying as they arrived at the scene and a body covered in a white sheet lying in a corridor.

According to local reports, a suicide bomber set off a device inside the education centre after a security guard was killed.

Another eyewitness, a teacher, reportedly said that around four people came running to the centre and gunshots were heard before one blew himself up.

Ghulm Sadiq, a local resident who was at home at the time of the attack, said he heard a loud sound and went outside to see smoke rising from the centre where he and neighbours rushed to help.

“My friends and I were able to move around 15 wounded and 9 dead bodies from the explosion site … other bodies were lying under chairs and tables inside the classroom,” he said.

The country’s Shiite Hazara community have faced persecution for decades and the Taliban was accused of abuse of the people when they were in power in the country between 1996 and 2001.

The security situation has deteriorated in Afghanistan since the takeover by the militant group from the US army.

Earlier this month, two Russian embassy employees were killed, among six people, in a suicide blast near the Russian embassy.

In August, an explosion rocked a mosque during Friday prayers, killing 21 people and injuring 33 others.

The Dasht-e-Barchi area, where the blast took place, has been a target in some of the worst attacks on schools and hospitals.

Last year, before the Taliban took power, at least 85 people, mainly students, died and hundreds were wounded after a bomb attack targeted a girl’s school in Dasht-e-Barchi.

Desk Team

Desk Team