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Afghanistan: 48 Shia Muslims dead in Kabul suicide attack on education center

16th Aug 2018
Afghanistan: 48 Shia Muslims dead in Kabul suicide attack on education center

By Shadi Khan Saif

 

KABUL, Afghanistan (AA): At least 48 young men and women were killed and more than 67 others injured when a suspected suicide bomber detonated his explosives at a private student coaching center in Afghan Shi’a Muslim neighborhood of capital Kabul on Wednesday, according to officials.

Police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai told Anadolu Agency the bomber targeted the Dasht-e-Barchi area, a Shi’a Muslim majority part of the city, in the afternoon.

Close to 300 students were said to be present at the center at the time of the attack, Stanikzai said.

Health Ministry spokesman Waheed Majroh told Anadolu Agency the death toll has jumped to 48 while many wounded were in critical state.

Local Tolo News reported that the Mawoud Academy which was targeted is a private education facility that provides tertiary education programs to students wanting to go to university. Both girls and boys attended the classes.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but Jawad Ghawari, a member of the city’s Shi’a Muslim ulama council, blamed Daesh, which has carried similar attacks on Shi’a Muslims in the past, hitting mosques, schools and cultural centers. In the past two years, there were at least 13 attacks on the Shi’a Muslim community in Kabul alone, he said.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed tweeted the armed group was not involved in the attack.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has condemned this attack carried out by “terrorists and savages”.

“..The attack at educational and cultural centers show that they are against the teachings of Islam,” he said, while directing the authorities to investigate how the incident took place, and urgently address the injured and the families of victims.

“By targeting educational and cultural centers, terrorists have clearly shown they are against all those Islamic principles (that strive) for both men and women to learn and study,” Ghani said in a statement.

The head of the U.N. children’s agency denounced the attack, saying it’s “deplorable” that children continue to be hardest hit in the growing violence across Afghanistan.

“Children are not, and must never be the target of violence,” said UNICEF’s executive director Henrietta Fore.

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Archive Photo: Suicide attack site in Kabul by Daesh near Shi’a Muslim mosque on 21 March 2018. Photographer: Haroon Sabawoon/AA]

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