Kabul school bombing toll rises to 85 dead, 147 injured
Kabul, May 10 (EFE).- The toll from a recent bomb attack near a secondary school for girls in western Kabul increased to 85 dead and 147 injured, according to the authorities in Afghanistan on Monday.
The rise in the number of casualties in the car bombing in a Shiite-majority neighborhood, which has a large population of the persecuted Hazara ethnic minority, came as a result of a revised count of the casualties after the evacuation process.
“The latest information we have received shows 85 people were martyred and 147 others were injured,” Second Vice President Sarwar Danish’s spokesperson Muhammad Hedayat told EFE.
The car bombing was followed by the two consecutive IED blasts near the Sayed-ul-Shuhada girl school in Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood in the capital.
“Nearly all of the victims are school girls, as it was a girls’ shift and they were leaving school during the attack,” he added.
Hedayat underlined that Sayed-ul-Shuhada school was one of the most popular ones in western Kabul, where some 16,000 students came for classes everyday, and therefore the number of victims was “very high in the blast.”
However, Interior Ministry spokesperson Tariq Arian told EFE that according to their data, the number of casualties remained unchanged from the previous day at 50 killed and 100 injured.
The deadly attack was widely condemned by the Afghans throughout the country and the government has announced a one-day national mourning to be held on Tuesday.
“I declare Tuesday as national mourning day and Fatiha rituals and prayers will be held for the Holy Souls of the martyrs in mosques and all governmental offices in Kabul, provinces and Afghanistan’s missions in foreign countries,” President Ashraf Ghani said on Sunday.
Moreover, he directed First Vice President Amrullah Saleh to arrange cash assistance to the families of those affected in the attack.
Ghani has asked Second Vice President Danish to draw up a security plan for the Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood, keeping in mind its vulnerable areas such as schools, at the earliest.
He also ordered the relevant authorities to make necessary arrangements so that classes may resume quickly at the Sayed-ul-Shuhada school.
The authorities have blamed the Taliban for the bombing.
It was the latest in a stream of attacks carried out by the insurgents on the country’s educational institutions, including a car bomb attack in Logar province on May 1 and another against Kabul University months ago.
The bombing drew a slew of condemnation from countries and international agencies.
“Killing children is an assault on the future of Afghanistan,” the German embassy in Kabul said on Twitter on Sunday.
UN’s child agency, UNICEF, “strongly” condemned the “horrific attack,” stressing that “violence in or around schools is never acceptable.”
Violence has surged in recent weeks in Afghanistan, especially since May 1, when all US and NATO forces began the final phase of their withdrawal from Afghanistan, two decades after its invasion following the 9/11 attacks. EFE