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Iran to grant scholarships to graduates of Afghan school hit by terrorist attack

The entrance of Iran’s Alzahra University in the capital Tehran. (File photo)

Iran’s Alzahra University says it has approved a plan to grant scholarships to 50 graduates of an Afghan girls’ high school, which was targeted by a terrorist bomb attack in early May.

The presiding board of Alzahra University approved the plan on Sunday, saying that the goal of the plan is to promote the status of Muslim women and also to support the education of girls in Afghanistan.

The plan was approved after a huge bomb blast took place outside Kabul’s Sayed-ul-Shuhada Girls School in Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood in western Kabul on May 9.

The explosion left 85 female students dead and some 150 others injured.

The board of Alzahra University said 25 scholarships, called "Scholarship for Erudite Women," was allocated to girls graduating from Sayed-ul-Shuhada High School in all fields covered by Alzahra University and five other special scholarships, named "Maryam Mirzakhani Scholarship" after the late Iranian mathematician, were granted to applicants to study mathematics.

The board also announced that the Iranian ministry of Science, Research and Technology had offered 25 scholarships to Alzahra University with the aim of cooperating in the humanitarian plan.

The Afghan government announced a day of national mourning following the deadly blast in Kabul, and in solidarity with Afghanistan and the victims of the terrorist attack targeting the girls' school, the iconic Azadi Tower in the Iranian capital, Tehran, was also lit up with the colors of the Afghan flag.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a post on his Twitter account at the time that a lighting ceremony had been performed at Azadi Tower to honor the victims of the deadly school attack in Kabul, who were mostly female students, and to express sympathy with their families and the Afghan nation.

“Last night, Tehran’s Azadi Tower mourned the victims of Sayed-ul-Shuhada School in Kabul along with Afghanistan’s people,” Zarif wrote in his tweet.

Moreover, members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) condemned the “atrocious and cowardly terrorist attack” on the Afghan girls’ high school in Kabul, stressing the need to hold “perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors” of such acts to account.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said the Taliban militant group was responsible for the attack, but the Taliban never claimed responsibility for the blast.

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