Home LATEST NEWS Explosions at Kabul school kill at least six

Explosions at Kabul school kill at least six

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The attack on the Abdul Rahim Shahid school in Dasht-e-Barchi, in the west of the capital, left at least six dead and 24 injured, according to the provisional report of the Kabul police.

A third explosion occurred in an English language training center in the same district, added a police spokesman, without saying whether it was also caused by an explosive device.

Dasht-e-Barchi is home to many members of the Hazara minority, marginalized for centuries and regularly persecuted in this predominantly Sunni country. The neighborhood has often been targeted in the past by the armed group Islamic State (IS).

The explosions occurred when the students were leaving class in the middle of the morning, told AFP a witness, who requested anonymity.

Images circulating on social media showed bodies lying on the ground at the entrance to the establishment, amid pools of blood, charred books and scattered school bags. Victims were taken to hospital, but the Taliban prevented journalists from approaching them.

IS, a constant threat

Security in the country has improved greatly since the Taliban took power in August and the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, after 20 years of attrition against their military presence.

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Attacks, mainly claimed by the armed group Islamic State-Khorasan (EI-K), the regional branch of the IS, however, still occur regularly in the country.

Dasht-e-Barchi has been hit in recent years and since the Taliban’s return to power by several attacks claimed by EI-K, which considers the Hazaras to be heretics.

In May 2021, a series of explosions occurred in front of a school for girls in this district, killing 85 people, mostly high school girls, and injuring more than 300.

First a car bomb exploded in front of the school, then two more bombs followed as students rushed outside. IS, which claimed responsibility for an attack in October 2020 against an educational center (24 dead) in the same area, is strongly suspected of having carried out this attack.

In this same neighborhood, in May 2020, a group of armed men attacked in broad daylight a maternity hospital supported by the humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders, killing 25 people, including 16 mothers, some about to give birth. This attack had not been claimed, but the United States had accused the IS of being responsible for it.

Smaller attacks, claimed by ISIS, still took place in Dasht-e-Barchi in November and December 2021.

The Taliban themselves have often attacked Afghan Shiites in the past, members of the Hazara community, which represents between 10 and 20% of the Afghan population (about 40 million inhabitants).

The Taliban are trying to downplay the threat of ISIS and are waging a ruthless fight against the group, which they have been fighting for years. They multiplied raids, particularly in the eastern province of Nangharar, and arrested hundreds of men accused of being part of it.

They now claim to have defeated EI-K, but analysts believe that the extremist group is still the main security challenge for the new Afghan power.

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