Social Issues

Taliban hand over Kabul school bombing victims’ bodies

Kabul, Apr 20 (EFE).- The Taliban on Wednesday handed over the bodies of those who died a day earlier in attacks on two schools of the Hazara Shia minority – situated in western Kabul – to the families, with the official death toll remaining at six and 25 people declared wounded, although activists have claimed that the real number could be much higher.

As the bodies of the deceased, most of them students, were released, some families alleged that the Taliban “disrespected the dead bodies” and they were “thrown in a container,” Mohammad Asif Hamraz, who lost a relative in the attack, told EFE.

Another girl who lost a family member in the bombings criticized the authorities in a video released by local media outlets, contrasting the Taliban’s behavior to that of the previous government, who allowed them to voice their grievances and treated them well.

“In this government, they not just behave badly, but even slap the victims’ families, and we cannot even raise our voice for justice and help,” she said.

Several activists have questioned the official information about the number of casualties.

“Based on the number of the bodies taken to the hospital and the number of families searching for their children, the number of deaths and injuries is much higher compare to the announced figures,” social activist Abdullah Himati told EFE.

The Taliban government condemned the attack, which targeted a neighborhood of western Kabul dominated by the Shia Hazara minority, and pledged to find and punish the culprits.

“The attack on innocent children and students is a crime against humanity, and the perpetrators will be not forgiven. The Islamic Emirate is responsible for finding the perpetrators of the attack and they will be punished for the oppression they have committed to prevent further such incidents,” Enamullah Samangani, the deputy spokesperson of the Taliban government, told EFE.

Although no group has owned responsibility for the attacks so far, 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.

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, situated in the same area, killed more than 100 in May 2021.

Just like Tuesday’s bombings, the 2021 attack was also carried out during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. EFE


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