Car bombing kills dozens of civilians near a school in Kabul

A view of Kabul, the Afghan capital A view of Kabul, the Afghan capital Photo by Mohammad Rahmani on Unsplash

08 May 2021

The Afghan capital Kabul suffered another deadly attack which has left around 60 people dead

On Saturday 8 May, Afghanistan was shocked by a horrific series of explosions caused by a car bomb and explosive devices near a school in the Shia district of Dasht-e-Barchi, located in the west of the capital Kabul. According to the Afghan authorities, the death toll had risen to 60, most of them female students, and the number of injured, some in critical conditions, is at  least 150. For the moment, no group has claimed responsibility for the blast,; the Taliban reject the accusations by the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who blamed the Sunni Islamist group. In a statement issued after the attack. Ghani accused the Taliban of “showing again that they are reluctant to resolve the current crisis peacefully”. The group denied any involvement and condemned the attack against civilians.

The international community, led by the United Nations’ Secretary General Antonio Guterres, strongly condemned the attack that claimed the lives of dozens of school children. In a statement released by his spokesperson, Guterres expressed his deepest sympathies for the families of the victims and the people of Afghanistan, and underlined that “those responsible for this crime must be held accountable”. Among others, also  the Executive Director of UNICEF Ms. Henrietta Fore, emphasized that children should always be ensured safety and protection and schools should never become the target of violence but must remain places where children can play, learn and socialize. The European Union mission in Afghanistan called the incident a “despicable act of terrorism against the future of the country”.

In February 2020, the Trump administration forged an agreement with the Taliban laying down the  withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Afghanistan in exchange for a number of commitments including the Taliban’s participation in talks with the Afghan Government and their renunciation of violence. However, since then, attacks against civilians by members of the Taliban have not ceased amidst an increase  of the number of casualties. The situation remains very tense and the path to a peace agreement seems to be rather  complexas each party attempts to strengthen their negotiation position. The peace conference between the Government and the Taliban foreseen  to take place in Turkey in April, was postponed;   as of now,  a solution for  the conflict through negotiation looks very distant.


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Author: Michele Pitta

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