Kabul suicide blast kills scores of girls at education centre

By Salaam Times and AFP

Relatives and medical staff shift a wounded girl from an ambulance outside a hospital in Kabul on September 30, following a suicide blast at a learning centre in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighbourhood in which at least 19 were killed. [AFP]

Relatives and medical staff shift a wounded girl from an ambulance outside a hospital in Kabul on September 30, following a suicide blast at a learning centre in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighbourhood in which at least 19 were killed. [AFP]

KABUL -- A suicide bomb attack struck a classroom of hundreds of students preparing for exams in the Afghan capital on Friday (September 30), with most of the casualties girls, police and a witness said.

Initial estimates suggest around two dozen individuals were killed.

No group has yet claimed responsibility, but the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) has claimed previous attacks in the same neighbourhood, Dasht-e-Barchi -- including a deadly attack on a school in 2020.

The Friday morning blast ripped through Kaaj Higher Educational Centre, which coaches mainly men and women ahead of the university entrance test (Kankor).

"We were about 600 in the classroom. But most of the casualties are among the girls," said Akbar, a student who was wounded in the attack, from a nearby hospital.

Dasht-e-Barchi, in western Kabul, is a predominantly Shia area that is home to the Hazara community, the target of some of Afghanistan's deadliest attacks.

"Students were preparing for an exam when a suicide bomber struck at this educational centre," Kabul police spokesman Khalid Zadran said. "Unfortunately, 19 people have been martyred and 27 others wounded."

Scenes of chaos

A shopkeeper from the area said there was a loud explosion and then crowds of students rushed out of the centre.

"It was chaos as many students, boys and girls, tried to escape from the building. It was a horrific scene. Everyone was so scared," he said.

Videos posted online and photos published by local media showed bloodied victims being carried away from the scene.

"Attacking civilian targets proves the enemy's inhuman cruelty and lack of moral standards," Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul Nafi Takor said in an earlier post on Twitter.

In a post on Twitter, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) -- Afghanistan said it was "appalled by the horrific attack".

"Violence in or around education establishments is never acceptable," it said.

"Such places must be havens of peace where children can learn, be with friends, and feel safe as they build skills for their futures. Children and adolescents are not, and must never be, the target of violence."

Families rushed to area hospitals where ambulances arrived with victims, and lists of those confirmed dead and wounded were posted on the walls.

"We didn't find her here," said a distressed woman looking for her sister at one of the hospitals. "She was 19 years old."

"We are calling her, but she's not responding."

Local authorities forced families of victims to leave the site of at least one hospital, fearing a follow-up attack on the crowd.

By Friday afternoon the roof of the hall where students had gathered for a test had completely collapsed, its doors and windows blown out.

Prior attacks in the area

ISIS's Khorasan branch (ISIS-K) has repeatedly attacked Hazaras and other religious minorities at their mosques, schools and workplaces, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a September 6 report.

Since August 2021, it said, ISIS-K has claimed responsibility for 13 attacks on Hazaras and has been linked to at least three more, killing and injuring at least 700 people.

Many attacks have devastated the Dasht-e-Barchi neighbourhood, with several targeting women, children and schools.

Last year, at least 85 people -- mainly girl students -- were killed and about 300 wounded when three bombs exploded near their school in the area.

In October 2020, ISIS claimed a suicide attack on an educational centre in the same neighbourhood that killed 24, including students.

In May 2020, the group was blamed for a bloody gun attack on a maternity ward of a hospital in Dasht-e-Barchi that killed 25 people, including new mothers.

And in April this year, two deadly bombings at separate education centres in the area killed six people and wounded at least 20 others.

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Why are the United Nations and other organizations so quiet about the enduring crimes in Afghanistan? Why do these organizations, who are responsible for the people of the world, think they have fulfilled their responsibility by merely issuing a statement and condemnation? The whole world leaped after a girl named Mahsa was killed in Iran, but every day dozens of innocent and poor Afghans are being killed by ISIS, Taliban, and other terrorists, but no one takes any measure. Why? Why do the superpowers kill Afghans to maintain their interests? Isn't it true that the United States and its allies brought the Taliban to power, and ISIS is also their project? Why do they kill innocent Afghans for their little and contaminated interests? The day will come when their masks will be removed from their faces, and the world will come to know that the United States slogans of democracy and protection of human rights are simply catchphrases and nothing else.


They are subjected to kill us. Because Afghans do not have anyone to take care of them, nor do their blood and lives have value. We do not have a government, and no one recognizes us as a country. We should be killed for the interests of the major countries. we should be killed so that the superpowers can adapt to the dirty games. We should be killed so they can live a prosperous life. We should be killed for the misdeed of being Afghan, Shia, Sunni, Hazara, Tajik, Pashtun, and in short, for being human. We believe in doomsday. If treacherous leaders vend us today, dealing on our blood, sacrifice us for the games of foreigners. However, I am sure that one day God will make them accountable for all this treason. Directors of intelligence of superpowers, be sure that your place will be in the hell. You turned our lives into hell for us, but you will always remain in the hell. God's reckoning is strict.


Problems were created within the system. These foreign coalition forces supported gangsters like Dostum, Atta, Gul Agha Sherzai... and weakened the government. The system became so weak that members of the Wolesi Jirga used to beat the soldiers of the National Army. Lawmakers themselves would break the law. Meanwhile, Pakistan took money from China, Russia, and America to train the Taliban. Instead of involving the government in negotiations, the Americans started and conducted talks with the Taliban. Taliban and America were like a dick; the dick entered while the government, like balls, stayed outside. Now Talib is the king, and he is doing things like gangsters. America sat on the hill to watch and said it was not up to me. Instead of the Taliban, Pakistan is now carrying out the ISIS project, and the Afghan people are being killed, beaten, insulted, and deprived of all human values ​​as before. The Afghan people are dead and being ruled by the rogues of Pakistan's army and intelligence (Taliban). The Afghan people are burning in the fire of revenge for the defeats of the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and the United States.


We must be killed. This incident is not the only incident. Such incidents have been going on in Afghanistan for 44 years. The Russians once dropped bombs from their planes and killed Afghans. The Mujahideen, supported by Pakistan and America, killed the people of the areas under the government's control. An educational curriculum was created for the refugees living in Pakistan with American money, focusing on the words gun, bullet, sword, kill, jihad, Mujahideen, enemy, atheist, communist, and infidel. Unfortunately, we also read the same shit at school. After the departure of the Soviets, those who had learned such a mess in madrassas and schools in Pakistan started to fight against each other on their arrival in Kabul. As a result, the capital Kabul was destroyed. Then Saudi Arabia, Britain, America, and Pakistan jointly created the Taliban project. The Taliban came to power and ruled over the Afghans like the ignoramuses of the era Before Christ. Then the Americans came. Americans did not come with science, technology, or humanity. The Americans came with rifles, cannons, bombs, and tanks. They came like thugs and gangsters. They bombed the wedding parties. This is not just a propagation. They bombed wedding parties, in Azizabad of Shindand district of Herat province, in Shinwari district of Nangarhar province, in ... district of Helmand province, in ... district of Laghman province. They bombed and killed dozens of people in each. They arrested and imprisoned the farmers,


A proverb says, "I am crying for your dead, while you are laughing at my mouth" we (Pashtuns) used to consider ourselves sharing every pain and sorrow with Hazaras, Tajiks, Uzbeks, etc.; however, the Farsi speakers and their supporters put the guilt of yesterday's event on the Pashtuns. I checked the media and personalities since yesterday which, at the end of their reports, news, and comments sting the Pashtuns, and they think that Pashtuns are behind yesterday's attack; however, they don't know/do not try to tell that, Pashtuns pay the enormous sacrifices of the past 40 years, and they are still paying for it. The services provided to Farsi speaker residents in the country were not given to the Pashtun populated areas throughout history; however, they still say that the Pashtuns are terrorists. Those Farsi speakers who consider Pashtuns guilty for their destruction may first go to Danish, Mohaqiq, Atta Noor, Dostum... and take them accountable, because these same leaders made compromises over their fate, got privileges... the Pashtuns failed in getting their right. My compatriot, I would still express sadness and share your pain and sorrow.


Unfortunately, the Taliban cannot make the country peaceful; they cannot satisfy the people's hunger, they cannot employ the people, they cannot provide human services, and they do not have any idea or knowledge to develop the country. Neither do they have the essence of management nor leadership? Taliban's existence and human skeleton are made for war, destruction, devastation, and rebellion, not for governance and government, especially in this 21st century. I do not have any expectations from the Taliban as they would even bring peace to the country, let alone other services. Yesterday when the attack on Kaj educational center in Kabul happened, at first, the Taliban did not allow ambulances to go to the area; people carried the injured and dead bodies on their backs, arms, handcarts, and private cars. During the time of Hamid Karzai and Ashraf Ghani, when an intense war was going on by the Taliban, the same Taliban killed dozens of innocent people every day... but still the construction works were going on with great enthusiasm, education to the people, services were provided in educational, health, social and various fields... The people's economy was also relatively good, but since the Taliban have come, they are only trying to collect money from institutions and put it in their pockets. They don't care whether services are provided to the people, whether there is progress or not, education and higher education are falling. They collect money and do not bring peace and s