Suicide attack on Kabul classroom kills 25, mostly young women

Pakistan condemns terrorist attack, expresses complete solidarity with Afghan brethren

Words can’t express this sheer barbarism, says PM Shehbaz Sharif.

KABUL   -  A suicide bomb attack on an educa­tion centre in Kabul killed at least 25 people, most of whom are believed to be young women, in the latest sign of the deteriorating security sit­uation in the Afghan capital. 

The explosion took place on Fri­day at the Kaaj education center, in a predominantly Hazara neighbor­hood – an ethnic minority group that has long faced oppression. 

Students were taking a practice university entrance exam at 7:30 a.m., local time (11 p.m. ET) when the blast first took place, Kabul Po­lice Spokesman Khalid Zadran said. In addition to those killed, at least 56 people were injured, according to reports from hospitals. The humani­tarian organization ‘Emergency’ said their surgical centre received 22 pa­tients, including 20 women, accord­ing to a statement by the group Fri­day. Two of those patients have died. 

“The victims are all between 18 and 25 years old, and most of them were in the classroom to take an exam. One person was already dead on arrival and another died after be­ing admitted,” the statement said. 

The bombing happened in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighbourhood of western Kabul, a predominantly minority Hazara community area, the target of some of Afghanistan’s most deadly attacks. The bomber shot dead two security guards be­fore entering the gender-segregat­ed classroom, student Ali Irfani, who escaped the carnage, told report­ers. “Not many boys were hit be­cause they were at the rear end of the classroom. The bomber entered from the front door where girls were sitting,” he said.

Akbar, another student witness, also said that young women made up most of the casualties, with up to 600 people in the hall at the time. No group has yet claimed responsibili­ty for the blast at Kaaj Higher Edu­cational Centre, which coaches stu­dents for university admission tests. 

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday expressing grief over the loss of young lives in a horrific suicide at­tack in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul said global cooperation against ter­rorism was need of the hour.

“The international communi­ty should not let its guard down. Strengthening global cooperation against changing threat matrix of terrorism is need of the hour,” he said in a tweet.

The prime minister conveyed his deepest condolences and most sin­cere sympathies to the bereaved families and people of Afghanistan. “Words can’t express this sheer bar­barism,” he said. PM Sharif recalled that at the platform of the United Nations General Assembly, he had emphasized that terrorism contin­ues to threaten not just Afghanistan and Pakistan, but also the world.

A suicide bomb attack on an educa­tion center in Kabul on Friday killed at least 23 people, most of whom be­lieved to be young women, in the lat­est sign of the deteriorating security situation in the Afghan capital.

Also, Pakistan on Friday con­demned in the strongest terms, the dastardly terrorist attack on an ed­ucational institution in Dasht-e-Bar­chi, Kabul, in which precious inno­cent lives were lost and many were injured. “The government and peo­ple of Pakistan extend their pro­found and heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and pray for early recovery of the injured,” For­eign Office said in a statement issued here. “We stand in complete solidar­ity with our Afghan brethren in the fight against the scourge of terror­ism,” the statement added.

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