Conflicts & War

School bombings in Kabul’s Hazara neighborhood kill at least 6

(Update 1: adds details)

Kabul, Apr 19 (EFE).- At least six people lost their lives and 15 suffered injuries Tuesday in school bombings in a Hazara neighborhood of western Kabul, police said.

Kabul police spokesperson Khalid Zadran told EFE that three explosions hit the Abdul Rahim Shaheed School and the Mumtaz Training Center in Dashte Barchi, housing a large population of the persecuted Hazara ethnic minority.

Interior ministry spokesperson Abdul Nafi Takor told EFE that the explosions claimed at least six lives and wounded more than 15.

“The figure is likely to increase,” Takor said.

The Taliban authorities cordoned off the area after the attack and prevented journalists from entering the premises while refusing to offer information about the damage and casualties.

Later, journalists’ bodies alleged that several reporters had been detained by the Taliban while trying to cover the bombings and released only after the memory card of their cameras were confiscated.

“Alireza Shahir, a reporter for Rah-e-Farda TV in Kabul, who had gone to the scene today to cover the explosion of the Abdul Rahim Shahid school, was arrested by Islamic Emirate forces. Emirate forces have seized his camera memory card and released him after two hours,” tweeted the Afghanistan Journalists’ Center.

Images circulated on social media showed horrible scenes of children’s bodies and limbs strewn around in a narrow alley.

Khalil, a witness to the attack, said at least eight people lost their lives and more than 40 were wounded.

He said two explosions were triggered using a “remote control” device.

Another local Asif Hamraz told EFE that he had seen the security forces transfer more than 16 people to hospitals.

A social activist alleged in a video posted on social media that people were not being allowed to enter a hospital even to donate blood for the injured.

The Italian NGO Emergency, which runs one of the main hospitals in Kabul, tweeted that they had received at least seven injured people.

No group has owned responsibility for the attacks so far.

However, the bombings bore the signature of the Islamic State (IS) military network that usually claims attacks against the Hazaras, who are mostly Shia Muslims.

The Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP), an armed group affiliated with the Islamic State, considers minority Shias apostates for their religious beliefs.

The Hazaras in Afghanistan have faced decades of abuse and discrimination.

The Hazaras live together in closely-knit neighborhoods, such as Kabul’s well-known western area of Dashte Barchi. But it makes them easy targets for attacks.

A bomb attack near a secondary school for girls killed more than 100 in May 2021.

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