Iran grieves for Afghan schoolchildren killed in terrorist attack

April 19, 2022 - 16:5

TEHRAN – Iranian government spokesman Ali Bahadori Jahromi on Tuesday censured bomb attacks against schoolchildren in Kabul, Afghanistan, calling the move another criminal act by terrorists.

“Targeting innocent children in the holy month of Ramadan once again showed the reality of criminal terrorists,” Bahadori Jahromi tweeted.

He added, “The grief of the martyrdom and injury of tens of Afghan students in the holy month of Ramadan is indescribable.”

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh also asked responsible officials in Afghanistan to “identify” and “punish” those who committed this heinous act.

Writing on his Twitter account, Khatibzadeh said “the black-hearted Takfiris once against committed crimes” and shed the blood of Afghan children.

He said these “anti-religion” people even did not observe the “reverence of the fasting month of Ramadan”.

At least six people including students have been killed and 11 others wounded after two blasts targeted a boys’ school in Kabul’s Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood, a Kabul police spokesman has said.

Some news websites reported those injured were more than 20. 

Khalid Zadran told AFP news agency on Tuesday that two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) blew up outside the Abdul Rahim Shahid high school in western Kabul.

ISIL, also called Daesh, has attacked the area in the past.

Zadran said a third blast had occurred at an English language center several kilometers away but in the same area. He did not specify whether it was caused by an explosive. There were no immediate reports of casualties from there.

He had earlier tweeted that three blasts had rocked the school, which is in an area mainly inhabited by the Shia Hazara community – an ethnic and religious minority frequently targeted by ISIL (ISIS) attacks in the past.

Tuesday’s explosions occurred as students were coming out of their morning classes at the school, which can house up to 1,000 students, witnesses told the AFP. It was not immediately clear how many children were in the school at the time of the explosions.

The blasts, which occurred in rapid succession, were being investigated and more casualties were feared, according to the Zadran and Kabul’s Emergency Hospital. Several of the wounded were in a critical condition.

The head of a hospital nursing department, who declined to be named, told Reuters news agency at least four people were killed and 14 wounded in the blasts.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which followed a lull in violence over the cold winter months and after foreign forces withdrew last year.

Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers say they have secured the country since taking power in August, but international officials and analysts say the risk of a rebellion remains.

Many of the attacks in the past several months have been claimed by ISIL.

In May last year at least 85 people – mainly female students – were killed and about 300 were wounded when three bombs exploded near their school in Dasht-e-Barchi.

A former Iranian diplomat has said the blasts in Kabul are another proof that the Taliban is incapable of stabilizing Afghanistan.

“This event showed once again that the Taliban is not competent to manage and rule Afghanistan,” Abolfazl Zohrevand, Iran’s former ambassador to Afghanistan, told ISNA.

Zohrevand said the least thing that a ruling system must do is to protect people’s lives but Taliban not only has failed to provide “legal security” for Afghan citizens it has also failed to protect people’s lives.

He added that the Taliban will likely finger the point at Daesh (ISIL), al-Qaeda or other Takfiri groups for this act but the reality is that the Taliban itself is not a “united” and it includes extremist persons ranging from Salafists to al-Qaeda loyalists.

The former ambassador said the government of Ashraf Ghani, which was pro-West, failed to secure Afghanistan let alone Taliban which is not recognized by the international community and many Afghan citizens do not agree with its views and are “complaining” of its approach.

He said if one looks at the explosions which have happened recently in Kabul one finds out that the those who carry out such operations are “all anti-Shia and Hazara”. 

The former diplomat added, “We are currently noticing political, economic and security collapse in Afghanistan.”

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