“Some of our friends have lost hands, while some were covered in blood,” a student said, describing the tragic scene of deadly attacks in Kabul.
Qatar has strongly condemned and denounced the deadly bombings that ripped through a secondary school and an educational centre located in the West of the Afghan capital, Kabul.
On Tuesday, a series of bomb explosions targeting educational institutions killed at least fifteen people and wounded at least 30, in Dasht-e-Barchi, a predominantly Shia neighbourhood.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated the country’s firm rejection of violence against civilians in all its forms, in particular educational institutions. This heinous move bears a dire negative impact on human rights, development and the economy of Afghanistan, it added.
The Gulf country stands in full support of Afghan people’s claim to their rights, foremost of which is the right of education. This stance is demonstrated through Doha’s effort in holding talks with the Taliban and facilitating mediation talks between relevant parties to ensure that all Afghan nationals of every age enjoy their basic right to education.
The ministry offered its condolences to the families of the victims, the interim government, and wished the injured a speedy recovery.
The attack on a Shia school
The blasts targeted a Shia school in Kabul’s Hazara neighbourhood, in which Islamic State affiliate, known as ISIL-K, previously carried out several deliberate and targeted attacks on the Shia community living in the area, The Guardian reported.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, however the area has been a target of one of Afghanistan’s deadly ISIL-K attacks in the past. The terror group “reviles Shia Muslims as heretics,” Associated Press reported.
Tuesday’s explosions took place as students were coming out of their morning classes at their school, Abdul Rahim Shaheed High School, a student wounded in the first blast said. The school can carry 1,000 students, a witness told Associated Press News, however it was not immediately clear how many children were in the school at the time of the tragedy.
The second bombing occured as rescuers arrived to ferry victims from the first blast to hospitals, Al-Jazeera reported.
“Some of our friends have lost hands, while some were covered in blood,” said Saeed Rahmatullah Haidari, a student at the school. “There were pieces of broken glass and pools of blood … My whole body was shaking,” as per Al-Jazeera’s reports.
Inside the school, an Associated Press video journalist witnessed horrific scenery of walls splattered with blood, burned notebooks and abandoned children’s shoes.
Sectarian attacks in Afghanistan
ISIL in Khorasan Province, or ISIL-K, has previously targeted educational institutions, particularly in the Shia-dominated Dasht-e-Barchi neighbourhood in Hazara. In May 2021, months before the Taliban took over the government in Kabul, more than 60 children, mainly girls, were killed after two bombs exploded outside their school, also in the same neighbourhood.
Hazara people are fearing a “genocide” in Afghanistan, an opinion piece platformed on Al-Jazeera expressed.
The piece wrote: “In the aftermath of the withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan, violence against the Hazara population has escalated. With a long history of persecution, including by the Taliban, the Hazaras are right to fear a genocide.”
The Hazara community has endured different forms of oppression from various rulers and governments, including “slavery, systematic expulsion from ancestral homes and lands, and massacres,” the article stated.
“These experiences have led some to consider Hazaras to be one of the “most persecuted people in the world.”