While exact numbers are difficult verify, reports say that dozens of teenaged Hazra students have been killed in an explosion on the outskirts of the Afghanistan’s capital city, Kabul.
In the second big attack since the regime change in Pakistan and the third since the beginning of the month, a series of three bomb explosions in Kabul’s Shia Hazara neighborhood of Dasht-e-barchi have killed possibly 20 people, most of them in their upper teens and belonging to the Hazara ethnic minority.
Besides, images circulating on Twitter also show a dead child, reportedly killed in the bomb blast.
While exact numbers are difficult to come by at the moment, there are reports of dozens of school going students from the Hazara community getting killed in explosions in the Abdurahim Shahid High School and the Mumtaz Education Centre on the outskirts of the country’s capital city, Kabul.
An earlier explosion happened at an educational center in Kabul’s Qala Naw area.
The government has announced that the blasts will be investigated by the Afghan police.
The National Resistance Front issued a statement condemning the violence and holding the Taliban directly responsible for these attacks. The group of former fighters opposed to the Taliban described the present rulers of the country as “an enemy of education”.
Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the first outside government to have condemned the blasts. It urged Afghan officials to “identify and punish the perpetrators of this act of terror.”
The child charity organisation, Save the Children, too has condemned the attack on the high school, the head of its Afghanistan country office, Chris Nayamandi said.
According to a former Afghan government spokesperson, Kabir Haqmal, “Unfortunately the number of casualties of today’s attacks is higher than [what] the Taliban [have] announce(ed).”
He lamented that the Taliban did not allow journalists to cover the incident and even arrested Ali Raza Shahir, a local television journalist who was covering the bombings. Raza’s camera has been seized.
One journalist tweeted that “around 150 students and civilians were killed”.
Bodies of the dead were stuffed into a container behind the Ali Jinnah hospital. This has made difficult the task of identification of the dead.
The Independent Kabul Times news website quoted an unidentified Hazara woman as saying, “I lost my husband at a blast in Dehmazang, my daughter was killed at Mawoud in Kabul and my only son was killed in today’s blast in Kabul.”