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2021 Kabul school bombing
Part of the War in Afghanistan and
the 2021 Afghanistan attacks
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2021 Kabul school bombing (Template:Location map Afghanistan Kabul)
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Location of the school
Location Kabul, Afghanistan
Coordinates 34°30′11″N 69°02′06″E / 34.50306°N 69.035°E / 34.50306; 69.035Coordinates: 34°30′11″N 69°02′06″E / 34.50306°N 69.035°E / 34.50306; 69.035
Date 8 May 2021
Target Shia
Hazaras
Attack type
Bombing
Weapons Car bomb
Deaths 85
Non-fatal injuries
147


On 8 May 2021, a car bombing, followed by two more improvised explosive device (IED) blasts, occurred in front of Sayed al-Shuhada school in Dashte Barchi, a predominantly Shia Hazara area[1][2] in western Kabul, Afghanistan,[3] leaving at least 85 people dead and 147 injured.[4][5][6][7][8][9] The majority of the casualties were girls between 11 and 15 years old.[10][11] The attack took place in a neighborhood that has frequently been attacked by militants belonging to the regional Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province (ISIL) over the years.[2][12]

Following the attack, residents of Dashte Barchi expressed anger over the lack of security in the area.[13] The residents said the government has not done enough to secure Dashte Barchi, in spite of knowing it has repeatedly come under attack from militants belonging to ISIL. Many of the residents held Afghan president Ashraf Ghani responsible for the attack and raised loud chants against the Afghan government and security forces.[13]

Background

The Dashte Barchi area of Kabul is populated by members of Afghanistan's Hazara ethnic minority.[14] In 2018, 34 people were killed in a school bombing and around 24 people were killed in an attack on a wrestling club in the area.[15] In 2020, 24 people were killed in an attack on maternity hospital and around 30 were killed when Kawsar-e-Danish tutoring center was attacked in the same area. Islamic State affiliates (IS) claimed responsibility for most of the attacks.[15] Hazara practice Shia Islam and are considered heretics by the IS.[14] The Taliban also target the Hazaras for violent persecution, and they have also opposed education for girls, particularly teenagers.[16]

Afghanistan in general had also seen a large increase in fighting between Afghan security forces and Taliban insurgents as both sides work to gain territory over strategic areas seen with the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops.[17]

Attack

A car bomb exploded in front of the entrance of Sayed al-Shuhada school.[18] The school teaches both boys and girls in three shifts, the second being for females.[19] A school teacher described that "a car bomb blast happened first, and then two more explosions occurred near the girls school in Kabul".[20] An Interior Ministry spokesman backed the statement stating the initial explosion was a car bomb followed by two IEDs.[21] One of the injured students recounted that she was leaving the school when the explosion occurred, and about ten minutes later there was another explosion, followed by another minutes later. She continued that everyone was disoriented and screaming, with blood, debris and personal belongings scattered around the yard.[22]

Casualties

In the immediate aftermath of the bombing, 58 people were killed and more than 160 others were wounded. A day after the attack, the death toll rose to 85.[4][23] The majority of the victims were schoolgirls under the age of 18.[24] A hospital programme coordinator for the hospital where most of the wounded were transported claimed the patients were aged mostly between 12 and 20 years old.[22]

Aftermath

Condolences outside Afghan embassy in Tehran

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the terrorist attack and called 11 May as a national day of mourning in wake of the incident.[25][26] President Ashraf Ghani blamed the Taliban for the attack, but Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid denied involvement in the attack, in a message released to the media.[21][27] Taliban spokesman also condemned the attack and held Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) responsible for the attack. Additionally, he accused Afghanistan's intelligence agency of being complicit with IS.[12]

Many family members of the victims condemned the perceived inaction by the government to protect the population. One relative said; "The government reacts after the incident it doesn't do anything before the incident".[22] The residents of Dashte Barchi reported that it took at least one hour for the officials to reach the scene. The delay in arrival of police, intelligence and ambulances on the scene angered the crowd who then started attacking the ambulance and police vehicles.[13] Many of the residents held Ghani responsible for the attack and raised loud chants against the Afghan government and security forces.[13]

See also

References

  1. FRANTZMAN, SETH J. "Was the latest attack in Afghanistan on Shi’ite women an act of genocide?". https://www.jpost.com/middle-east/was-the-latest-attack-in-afghanistan-on-shiite-women-a-genocidal-act-667645. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Blasts kill dozens near school in Afghan capital Kabul". Al Jazeera English. 8 May 2021. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/8/blasts-kill-dozens-near-school-in-afghan-capital-kabul. 
  3. "Kabul attack: Blast near school leaves at least 30 dead". BBC News. 8 May 2021. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-57040713. Retrieved 8 May 2021. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 CNN, Jennifer Deaton and Sheena McKenzie. "Death toll rises to 85 in Afghanistan girls' school bomb attack". https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/09/asia/afghanistan-girls-school-attack-intl-hnk/index.html. 
  5. "School bombing heightens fears among Afghanistan's Hazaras, long a target for militants, amid U.S. exit". https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/05/09/kabul-school-attack-girls/. 
  6. "At least 68 killed in Afghan school blast, families bury victims". 9 May 2021. https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/afghan-school-blast-toll-rises-58-families-bury-victims-2021-05-09/. 
  7. "Kabul attack: Blasts near school leave more than 50 dead". https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-57040713. 
  8. "Bombing Outside Afghan School Kills at Least 50, With Girls as Targets". The New York Times. 8 May 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/08/world/asia/bombing-school-afghanistan.html. 
  9. "Blasts Near Girls' School in Kabul; 30 People Killed". TOLOnews. 8 May 2021. https://tolonews.com/afghanistan-172024. 
  10. "Bomb kills at least 30 near girls' school in Afghan capital". https://apnews.com/article/religion-world-news-bombings-asia-pacific-islamic-state-group-b424aa48c6f2d22be7303809c337e460. 
  11. Janjua, Haroon; Ray, Saptarshi (10 May 2021). "Kabul attack: Dozens of schoolgirls die in triple bombings in Afghanistan". https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/kabul-attack-schoolgirls-die-triple-bombings-afghanistan-wnrjr5lvn. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Bomb kills at least 30 near girls' school in Afghan capital". NBC News. 8 May 2021. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/bomb-kills-least-25-people-near-school-afghan-capital-n1266741. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 "Grief and anger after deadly blasts target Afghan school". 9 May 2021. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/9/afghans-grieve-after-deadly-blasts-target-school-girls-in-kabul. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Kabul attack: Families bury schoolchildren of blast that killed dozens". BBC News. 10 May 2021. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-57046527. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Death toll soars to 50 in school bombing in Afghan capital". ABC News. 9 May 2021. https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/death-toll-soars-50-school-bombing-afghan-capital-77583244. 
  16. Nossiter, Adam (9 May 2021). "'Why Do We Deserve to Die?' Kabul's Hazaras Bury Their Daughters". https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/09/world/europe/afghanistan-school-attack-hazaras.html. 
  17. Latifi, Ali (May 9, 2021). "Grief and despair in aftermath of Kabul girls' school bombings" (in en). https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/grief-despair-afghanistan-neighbourhood-it-buries-girls-killed-bombings-n1266781. 
  18. "Car bombing at Afghan school in Kabul kills 55, injures over 150". 8 May 2021. https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/blast-near-afghan-school-kabul-kills-10-injures-dozens-security-official-2021-05-08/. 
  19. "Blasts targeting Afghan school in Kabul kill 40, injures dozens". https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/crime-pmn/blasts-targeting-afghan-school-in-kabul-kill-40-injures-dozens. 
  20. "Blasts Near Girls' School in Kabul; 25 People Killed". TOLOnews. https://tolonews.com/afghanistan-172024. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 CNN, Jennifer Hauser. "At least 50 killed and over 100 wounded in blast near Kabul girls' school". CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/08/asia/kabul-bomb-blast-school-intl/index.html. 
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Faiez, Rahim (2021-05-08). "Death toll soars to 50 in bombing near girls' school in Afghanistan". FOX 11. https://www.foxla.com/news/at-least-30-killed-when-bomb-detonates-near-girls-school-in-afghanistan. 
  23. "School bombing heightens fears among Afghanistan's Hazaras, long a target for militants, amid U.S. exit". https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/05/09/kabul-school-attack-girls/. 
  24. "At least 85 killed in Afghan school blast, families bury victims". May 9, 2021. https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/afghan-school-blast-toll-rises-58-families-bury-victims-2021-05-09/. 
  25. "Afghan President condemns Kabul bombing, calls for national day of mourning". https://in.news.yahoo.com/afghan-president-condemns-kabul-bombing-194741291.html. 
  26. Nossiter, Adam. ""Why Do We Deserve to Die?" Kabul's Hazaras Bury Their Daughters". https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/09/world/europe/afghanistan-school-attack-hazaras.html. 
  27. Held, Amy; Nuyen, Suzanne (May 9, 2021). "Bombing Near Kabul School Kills At Least 50, Many Of Them Girls". https://www.npr.org/2021/05/08/995053653/bombing-near-kabul-school-kills-at-least-30-many-of-them-girls. 


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