Dozens of young girls were buried this Sunday in a cemetery on top of a hill in Kabul, the day after the deadliest attack in a year, that was targeting a school. A series of explosions erupted outside this girls’ school as locals were shopping, killing more than 50 people, mostly high school girls, and injuring more than a hundred.
This attack took place in the Hazara district of Dasht-e-Barchi, in the west of the Afghan capital, mainly populated by Hazara Shiites, while the American army continues to withdraw the last 2,500 soldiers still present in this country torn by twenty years of conflict and still plagued by violence. A car bomb first exploded in front of Sayed Al-Shuhada School, then two more bombs exploded as panicked students approached. Rushed outside, Interior Ministry spokesman Tareq Arian told reporters. This attack took place in the run-up to the Muslim holiday of Aid-al-Fitr which will mark the end of the fasting month of Ramadan next week.
On Sunday, relatives of the victims began to bury the dead on top of a hill in the “martyrs’ cemetery”, where victims of attacks against the Hazara community lie. The Hazaras are Shiites, often targeted by Sunni Islamist groups. Sunnis constitute the majority of the Afghan population. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani accused the Taliban of being behind the attack. “This group of savages does not have the capacity to confront the security forces on the battlefield, so they attack themselves instead. barbarian in public buildings and girls’ schools, ”he said in a statement.
The Taliban have denied any involvement, saying they have not carried out terrorist attacks in Kabul since February 2020, when they signed an agreement with the United States paving the way for peace talks and withdrawal of the last American troops. However, they are engaged in daily fighting with Afghan forces in the hinterland even as the US military is reducing its presence.
These attacks come as the United States was supposed to have withdrawn the 2,500 American soldiers still present on May 1. This was the deadline chosen in the agreement signed in February 2020 in Qatar with the Taliban by the former administration of Donald Trump. , noting this withdrawal. But Washington postponed that date to September 11, the twentieth anniversary of the 2001 attacks, which angered the Taliban.
In a pre-August post, Haibatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban leader said any delay in withdrawing troops was a “violation” of this agreement. “If America fails to meet its commitments again, the whole world will have to stand up and hold it accountable for all consequences,” Haibatullah Akhundzada warned in a statement on Sunday.
The top US diplomat in Kabul, Ross Wilson, called Saturday’s explosions “heinous.” “This unforgivable attack on children is an attack on the future of Afghanistan, which cannot be tolerated,” he said on Twitter.