An attack that hit a boys’ school in Afghanistan’s capital has left students dead and wounded. 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 target schools and six people were killed. ISIS and other militants have attacked 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 professor, told NPR from the hospital that he was injured in the explosion that hit near his institution, the Mumtaz Educational Center.
MOHAMMED REZAIE: (No English spoken).
HADID: You say that many of your students suffered head and back injuries. At least one other explosion occurred near the Abdul Raheem Shaheed school as students were leaving their classes. The next few minutes and hours were overwhelmingly familiar to Afghans. Twitter users shared images of bloody school books and cleaners cleaning sidewalks. An aid group, Emergency, which runs free hospitals, said they received 10 injured teenagers and one dead victim on arrival. The United Nations condemned the attack, as did neighboring Pakistan and the large aid group Save the Children. The schools are in an area of Kabul dominated by the Hazara ethnic group, which is mainly Shia. Militants have frequently attacked them in the past. Last year, in April, attackers killed more than 85 girls leaving a high school in the same area. It was one of the worst attacks on Kabul in decades of conflict.
REZAIE: (language not English spoken).
HADID: Rizayee, the physics teacher, says this attack shouldn’t have happened. The Taliban boast about how they have secured Afghanistan. And certainly, militant attacks are much less frequent now. But it’s no comfort to parents who will once 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 came to power eight months ago. Diaa Hadid, NPR News, Islamabad.
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