At least 19 people were murdered in a suicide explosion at a school in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, on Friday morning, according to police spokesman Khalid Zadran.
“Students were preparing for an exam when a suicide bomber struck at this educational center. Unfortunately, 19 people have been martyred and 27 others wounded,” Zadran said.
The explosion took place in the western Kabul district of Dasht-e-Barchi, which is home to the minority Hazara group and is predominately Shiite Muslim, and has seen some of Afghanistan’s deadliest attacks.
“An educational center called ‘Kaj’ has been attacked, which unfortunately has caused deaths and injuries,” interior ministry spokesman Abdul Nafy Takor tweeted.
“Attacking civilian targets proves the enemy’s inhuman cruelty and lack of moral standards.”
Bloodied victims were seen being dragged away from the site in videos that were shared online and pictures that were released by local media.
After the Taliban took back control of Afghanistan last year, the two-decade conflict ended and there was a marked decrease in violence, but under the hard-line Islamists, security has started to deteriorate recently.
Shiite Hazaras in Afghanistan have long been persecuted, with the Taliban being charged with mistreating them both during their initial rule from 1996 to 2001 and again after their victory last year.
Additionally, they are frequently attacked by the Taliban’s adversary, the Daesh organization. They are seen as heretics by both.
The region has been ravaged by several attacks, many of which targeted women, girls, and schools.
Three bombs burst near their school in Dasht-e-Barchi last year, just before the Taliban made a comeback, killing at least 85 people, mostly female students, and injuring about 300 others.
No one group took credit, although a year prior, Daesh claimed responsibility for a suicide strike on an educational facility in the same region that lost 24 lives, including students.
25 people, including new moms, were killed in a brutal gun attack on a hospital’s maternity unit in the area in May 2020, and the group was held responsible.
Six people were killed and at least 20 others were injured in two devastating bombings that occurred in the area in April at two different educational facilities.
The Taliban prevent many females from returning to secondary school, and Daesh also opposes women’s and girls’ education, making education a contentious topic in Afghanistan.