An attack that hit a boys’ school in the Afghan capital left students dead and injured. It is the latest sectarian violence against Shia Muslims since the Taliban took control in 2021.
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
Three explosions rocked the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Tuesday. They appeared to be targeting schools and six people were killed. Islamic State and other militants have hit schools and students in the past, but this was the first time since the Taliban came to power in August. NPR’s Diaa Hadid reports from Islamabad.
DIAA HADID, BYLINE: Mohammed Rizayee, a 21-year-old physics teacher, told NPR from hospital that he was injured in the blast that hit near his school, the Mumtaz Education Center.
MOHAMMED REZAIE: (Non-English language spoken).
HADID: He says a lot of his students had head and back injuries. At least one other explosion hit near Abdul Raheem Shaheed School as students walked out of their classrooms. The next few minutes and hours were overwhelming and familiar to Afghans. Twitter users shared images of bloodied schoolbooks and cleaners hosing down sidewalks. An aid group, Emergency, which runs free hospitals, said it received 10 injured teenagers and one dead victim when it arrived. The United Nations condemned the attack, as did neighboring Pakistan and the major aid group Save the Children. The schools are in an area of Kabul dominated by the Hazara ethnic group, mostly Shia. Militants have frequently targeted them in the past. Last year, in April, assailants killed more than 85 girls leaving a secondary school in the same area. It is one of the worst attacks in Kabul in decades of conflict.
REZAIE: (Non-English language spoken).
HADID: Rizayee, the physics teacher, says that attack shouldn’t have happened. The Taliban brag about how they have secured Afghanistan. And certainly, militant attacks are much less frequent now. But that’s no consolation for parents who will again wonder if it’s safe to send their children to school. They are boys, at least. The Taliban have not allowed girls to return to secondary school since they took power eight months ago. Diaa Hadid, NPR News, Islamabad.
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