Six Killed in Terrorist Attacks on Schools in Kabul, Afghanistan

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    Two explosions triggered by improvised devices occurred in quick succession outside the Abdul Rahim Shahid boys' high school early on April 19, Kabul police spokesperson Khalid Zadran told the Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Tuesday. The first explosion occurred when students were entering school in the morning, while the second exploded just a few minutes later while emergency medical personnel attempted to attend to the first attack.

    “An official familiar with the matter who declined to be named said the explosive devices had been hidden in backpacks and one had detonated inside the school gates,” Reuters said.

    A third explosion using a hand grenade struck the English language school Mumtaz Tuition Center near the Abdul Rahim Shahid high school on Tuesday morning, according to reports, prior to the twin explosions that occurred at the secondary school. At least six people, including children, were reportedly killed.

    “Three blasts have taken place … in a high school, there are some casualties to our Shia people,” Zadran told various media outlets.

    The Kabul area where Tuesday’s attacks occurred is known as Dasht-e-Barchi and is populated by people belonging to the Shia Hazara community. Hazaras constitute a religious and ethnic minority in Afghanistan that has been previously attacked for a number of years by Sunni Muslim terror groups active in Afghanistan, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). As of now, no organization has claimed responsibility for the school bombings that occurred on Tuesday in Kabul.

    “In May last year at least 85 people–mainly girl students–were killed and about 300 wounded when three bombs exploded near their school in Dasht-e-Barchi,” AFP reported on April 19, noting that no organization has claimed responsibility for the incident.

    Hazaras represent between 10 to 20 percent of Afghanistan's major Sunni Muslim population of 38 million. The minority population “has long been the target of mass-casualty attacks [in Afghanistan], some blamed on the Taliban during their 20-year insurgency,” AFP stated on Tuesday.

    The Sunni Muslims-based Taliban Jihadist group took over control of Afghanistan's ruling government based in Kabul in August 2021. The Taliban claim that it has frequently conducted raids on believed Islamic State hideouts in Afghanistan, particularly in the province's eastern Nangarhar province, since taking control of the country a little more than a year ago.

    “Taliban officials insist their forces have defeated IS [Islamic State], but analysts say the group is a key security challenge,” AFP reported on April 19.

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