According to latest reports from Afghanistan, at least 20 people were killed and 17 were injured in three explosions at a high school in western Kabul’s Dasht-e-Barchi district, on Tuesday. Police officials have said that the casualties also included several students.
As per a report by Al Jazeera, the explosions happened inside Abdul Rahim Shaheed High School and near the Mumtaz Education Centre several kilometres away. There were no immediate reports of casualties at the education centre, while Kabul police spokesman Khalid Zadran said that two IEDs blew up outside the high school.
Many individuals in the area are members of the Shia Hazara population, an ethnic and religious minority that is routinely targeted by Sunni terrorist organisations such as the Islamic State.
The chief of a hospital nursing department, who did not want to be identified, has claimed that at least four people were killed and 14 were injured in the explosions. Witnesses claimed that the explosions happened as kids were leaving their morning lessons at the institution, which has a capacity of 1,000 students.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the incident, which came after a period of relative calm during the harsh winter months, following the withdrawal of foreign personnel last year. The area has already been attacked before by Afghanistan’s ISIL (ISIS) affiliate, which regards Shia Muslims as heretics.
“We were leaving school and had just stepped out from the rear gate when the explosion occurred,” Ali Jan, a wounded student who was taken to the area hospital, told the AFP news agency.
The second explosion, reportedly, occurred as rescuers arrived to transport casualties from the initial explosion to hospitals. Taliban gunmen fought back against relatives of students who had come in quest of information outside a hospital treating the injured. Women sobbed as they viewed images of the victims displayed on neighbouring walls by doctors. The assaults, which happened in quick succession, are being examined, and further fatalities are expected since a number of the injured are in critical condition.
An Associated Press video journalist spotted blood-splattered walls, charred notebooks, and children’s shoes inside the school. Last May, three bombs had exploded near the school in Dasht-e-Barchi, killing at least 85 persons, most of them female pupils, and another 300 were injured.
In the aftermath of the US-led NATO exit to end its 20-year war in Afghanistan, Taliban rulers have faced the biggest security challenge from ISIL. Taliban militants claim they have secured the country since taking power in August 2021, but international officials and analysts say that there is a risk of terrorism surging, especially since the Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for several attacks recently.