At least six people have been killed after a school in Dasht-e-Barchi – a Shia Hazara neighborhood – was hit by a series of explosions.
Explosions targeting educational institutions left at least six dead and 17 injured in a predominantly Shiite neighborhood of the Afghan capital.
Students were among the victims of the explosions at a school in the Dasht-e-Barchi district of Kabul, police said on Tuesday.
The blasts occurred inside Abdul Rahim Shaheed High School and near Mumtaz Education Center several kilometers away. There were no immediate reports of casualties at the education center.
Police spokesman Khalid Zadran said two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were detonated outside Abdul Rahim Shaheed High School in west Kabul.
No group immediately claimed responsibility, however, the area has been targeted in the past by the Afghan affiliate of ISIL (ISIS), which calls Shia Muslims heretics.
Tuesday’s blasts occurred as students walked out of their morning classes at the school, which can accommodate up to 1,000 students, witnesses said. It was not immediately known how many children were in the school at the time of the explosions.
“We were leaving school and had just come out the back door when the explosion happened,” Ali Jan, a student injured in the first explosion, told AFP news agency at a hospital in the city. region.
The second explosion took place when rescuers arrived to transport the victims of the first explosion to hospitals.
“Some of our friends lost their hands, while others were covered in blood,” said Saeed Rahmatullah Haidari, a student at the school. “There were pieces of broken glass and pools of blood… My whole body was shaking.
In front of a hospital treating the wounded, Taliban fighters pushed back the families of students who had gathered in search of information. Women screamed as they scanned photos of victims posted on nearby walls by doctors.
“Horrible and cowardly”
The attacks, which came in quick succession, were being investigated and further casualties were feared. Several of the injured were in critical condition.
Inside the school, an Associated Press video reporter saw blood-splattered walls, burnt notebooks and children’s shoes.
An official familiar with the matter, who declined to be named, told Reuters news agency that explosive devices had been hidden in backpacks and one had exploded inside the doors of the school.
Chris Nyamandi, country director of the humanitarian group Save the Children in Afghanistan, condemned the explosions.
“Save the Children is outraged and strongly condemns the reported attack on a high school today in Kabul. We are deeply saddened by reports that children have been injured and even killed in the blasts,” he said in a statement.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said on Twitter that he joined the world body’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, in offering his condolences to the families of the victims. . He said the attack on the school was “horrific and cowardly”.
The attack follows a lull in violence over the cold winter months and after the withdrawal of foreign forces last year.
Afghanistan’s Taliban leaders say they have secured the country since taking power in August. Many attacks in recent months have been claimed by ISIL.
In May last year, at least 85 people – mostly female students – were killed and around 300 injured when three bombs exploded near their school in Dasht-e-Barchi.
ISIL presented the greatest security challenge to the Taliban leadership, which invaded Kabul as the United States ended its 20-year war.