2 killed in militant attack on Afghan university bus
Kabul, Mar 16 (efe-epa).- Suspected militants opened fire at an Afghan university bus Tuesday, killing the driver and a student in the northern Baghlan province, police said.
Six university lecturers suffered injuries in the attack on a highway near the provincial capital.
The bus came under the attack teachers and students were on their way to the university, police spokesperson Javid Basharat told EFE.
The injured were taken to a hospital.
Basharat blamed the Taliban for the ambush and the opening of indiscriminate fire at the bus that displayed the university logo to differentiate it from government vehicles.
However, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid dismissed the allegation, saying the group had nothing to do with the attack on the university bus.
The attack is the latest in a string of targeted killings of civilians in urban areas.
There has been a spike in targeted violence across the country in recent months, coinciding with the peace negotiations that began last September in Doha but remained stalled without any progress.
Most of the victims of such attacks are civilians, including rights activists, intellectuals, and journalists.
Human Rights Watch, in a statement, on Tuesday, said insurgent groups in Afghanistan had escalated their targeted killings of women and religious minorities.
“Recent attacks have killed at least five women, mostly journalists and media workers, and seven factory workers from the minority Hazara community,” the rights watchdog said.
Associate Asia director HRW Patricia Gossman the surge in targeted killings appeared intended to drive women from public life and spread terror among minority communities,” said.
“Unidentified attackers have also gone after journalists, civil society activists, and professionals, killing many, driving some from the country, and leaving the rest to live in fear,” Gossman said.
The Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP), an armed group affiliated with the Islamic State, has claimed responsibility for many such attacks in Jalalabad city, the capital of Nangarhar province.
In many cases, insurgents have accused the women of violating social norms by taking on a public role.It is often unclear whether the ISKP, the Taliban, or other groups are responsible for the threats and attacks, HRW said.
The Afghan government has always blamed the Taliban for such attacks. But the group has denied its involvement. EFE-EPA