Several dead after series of explosions at boys’ school in Kabul

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At least six people have been killed and dozens injured in a series of blasts targeting educational institutions in the Afghan capital.

At least two explosions hit students as they left the Abdul Rashid Shahid Boys’ School, then another explosion hit the Mumtaz Education Center in the same neighborhood.

Both attacks took place in a neighborhood in western Kabul known to be home to members of the country’s Shiite Hazara ethnic minority, which has been repeatedly attacked by the Islamic State group.

Witnesses to the bombing at the boys‘ school said the first explosion took place as students were leaving classes, then a second went off as rescuers tried to evacuate the injured.

The majority of the dead and injured are believed to be teenagers between the ages of 15 and 18. Footage from the scene shows several dead or seriously injured young men, and piles of bloodied and abandoned schoolbooks.

“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 at a hospital in the area where the explosions took place. explosions occurred.

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 was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which followed a lull in violence over the cold winter months and after the withdrawal of foreign forces last year.

The blasts hit the Dasht-e-Barchi area where schools and colleges have been repeatedly targeted in recent years, including by the Islamic State militant group.

Dasht-e-Barchi has been bombed several times in recent years of the Afghan government supported by the international community. In one of the most notorious attacks, at least 90 people, mostly schoolgirls between the ages of 11 and 15, were killed by bombs outside the Sayed al-Shuhada school in May 2021.

After the Taliban took power, the Islamic State group continued to carry out a campaign of bombings and assassinations against Afghan Shiites and Taliban fighters.

Vicki Aken, director for Afghanistan of the aid group IRC, told the charity, said: “Such attacks are a shocking indictment of the danger in which Afghan civilians currently live. The steady increase in attacks on schools and educational institutions must stop. Civilians – especially children – must never be a target and the world must see an end to this violence.

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