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Iran slams deadly terrorist attack on Afghan students, says ready to help Kabul

A general view of the damaged hall pictured at the site of a suicide bomb attack in the learning center in the Dasht-e-Barchi area in Kabul on September 30, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has strongly slammed as “barbaric” a Friday terrorist attack on an educational center in Kabul which killed at least 33 people, urging the Taliban to provide security for Afghan citizens.

The explosion hit Kaj Education Centre in Dasht-e-Barchi, a mainly Hazara neighborhood west of the Afghan capital, on Friday morning, killing at least 19 people, most of them young women.

In a statement later in the day, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani said the deadly attack on “innocent youth who had participated in a scientific test is a barbaric action and is against religious teachings and basic human principles.”

The crime is a disgrace for the perpetrators and supporters of satanic terrorists, the spokesperson said, calling on the Taliban to provide security for Afghan citizens.

He also expressed sympathy with the families of victims and wished speedy recovery for the injured.

A mock entrance exam was reportedly taking place when several men attacked the center, local media reported, with one reportedly detonating a suicide belt inside a classroom.

Meanwhile, the Iranian president’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, held a phone conversation with Afghan Health Ministry officials, expressing Tehran’s readiness to extend help to the victims.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, however, the Daesh terrorist group has a history of launching attacks against the Hazara community in recent years.

The Hazara community, the poorest of the country’s ethnic groups, accounts for about 22 percent of Afghanistan’s population. Its members have been targeted in several large-scale kidnappings and killings across Afghanistan in the past.

In May last year, at least 85 people – mainly girl students – were killed and about 300 wounded when three bombs exploded near their school in the Shia-dominated Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood of Kabul.

In October 2020, Daesh admitted to attacking an educational center in the same area that killed 24 people, including students.

In May 2020, the group was blamed for a bloody attack on a maternity ward of a hospital in the same neighborhood that killed 25 people, including new mothers.

Daesh has a foothold in eastern and northern Afghanistan, particularly in Nangarhar, which is regarded as its base in the war-torn country. It has recently claimed responsibility for several attacks across Afghanistan.

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