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Multiple blasts rock school in Afghan capital, more than 20 killed

Medical staff move a wounded youth on a stretcher inside a hospital after three blasts rocked a boys' school in a Shia Hazara neighborhood in Kabul, Afghanistan, on April 19, 2022.

At least two powerful explosions ripped through a boys' school in a Shia-dominated neighborhood of Kabul Tuesday, killing more than 20 students.

The death toll is likely to mount, according to Afghan security officials, as cited by media outlets.

Local reports and eyewitnesses said a suicide bomber targeted a school in west Kabul’s Dashte Barchi, a predominantly Shia neighborhood.

The blast occurred at the main exit of Abdul Rahim Shahid School when students were leaving the school premises after morning classes.

 

A suicide bomber struck a school in Kabul’s Dashte Barchi, a predominantly Shia neighborhood. The blast occurred in the main exit of Abdul Rahim Shahid School where crowds of students were there, one teacher told me who surprisingly escaped the attack. Fear of high casualties.

— Ehsanullah Amiri (@euamiri) April 19, 2022

 

Photographs and videos from the aftermath of the powerful explosions showed mutilated bodies lying on the ground, discarded notebooks, and people ferrying the injured in ambulances.

Kabul police spokesman Khalid Zadran in a Twitter post confirmed that the blasts targeted Abdul Rahim Shahid School, which he said had "caused casualties among our Shiite brothers".

Afghan journalist Zahra Joya said a father had lost all his three sons in the bombing at Abdul Rahim Shahid School.

It came two weeks before the first anniversary of the bombing of Sayed Ul-Shuhada High School in western Kabul that killed at least 90 students and wounded scores more, most of them teenage girls leaving class.

TOLOnews, the war-ravaged country's leading private TV channel, said the Ministry of Interior (MoI) has ordered an investigation into the incident, and that details will be made public later. 

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, but analysts believe it could be the handiwork of the Daesh terrorist group, which has witnessed a resurgence since the Taliban's sweeping takeover of the country last August.

The group had claimed responsibility for a series of attacks in Hazara-dominated areas in west Kabul between September and December 2021, which were mainly magnetic bombings targeting civilian vehicles.

However, between 2014 and 2019, the group carried out major bombings against the persecuted Shia Hazara community in Afghanistan.

The attacks on Ziyarat e Sakhi shrine in western Kabul in 2015, Baqir ul Uloom Masjid in central Kabul in 2015, Al-Zahra Masjid and Imam Zaman Masjid in western Kabul in 2017, Hazara educational center in 2018 are some of the examples of ghastly terror perpetrated by the Daesh terrorist group in Afghanistan in recent years.

Meanwhile, quoting eyewitnesses, TOLOnews and Etalaat newspaper also reported a blast near "Mumtaz" training center in the west of Kabul on Tuesday, which resulted from a hand grenade. At least six people were wounded in the attack. 

The students had reportedly gathered there to prepare for a university entrance examination.


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