Afghanistan mourns 60 schoolgirls killed in deadliest attack in years

Afghanistan mourns 60 schoolgirls killed in deadliest attack in years

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KABUL: Sixty girls were buried during a mass funeral on Sunday, after a gruesome bomb attack on a school in a poor neighborhood of Kabul a day earlier.

Outside the Sayed ul-Shuhada school on the outskirts of Dasht-e Barchi, a Shi’ite-ruled suburb, the massacre began with a bomb explosion when students were dismissing classes to quickly break Ramadan. Car bombs exploded.

Witnesses said that when people rushed to take the injured child to the hospital, another explosion and mortar fire tore up at the scene, killing some rescuers.

“Books and body parts were everywhere … cries, wailing,” local resident Rahim Dad said.

After the attack, the deadliest attack in a week injured more than 100 people. Just a week later, a bomb attack killed another 21 children in Logar province, south of Kabul.

“We buried sixty of the victims, all girls and students of the same school,” Dr. Ali Sadaat, who organized the funeral, told Arab News.

“These students until a few days ago were complaining to school authorities about a shortage of textbooks,” Sadaat said. “They had an enormous desire to earn a bright future. May God never show such a thing to any country. There were some students who were beheaded, some whose faces were beyond recognition.”

Although no organization claimed responsibility for the attack, President Ashraf Ghani condemned the Taliban, who denied the accusation, saying that a Daesh network was behind the massacre.

Last June, at least 24 people, including newborns, mothers and nurses, were killed by Daesh gunmen in a maternity ward in Dasht-e Barchi.

In November, Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack on Kabul University, in which 32 people were killed.

“We are safe nowhere in Afghanistan,” Shamsuddin, an elderly resident of Kabul, told Arab News. “People are being targeted in classes, (at) university, wedding halls, mosques. How long this will last?”

Violence has been on the rise in Afghanistan in recent weeks after the US postponed the withdrawal of its troops from the country to September from a May 1 deadline Washington had negotiated with the Taliban last year.

Under the US-Taliban deal, the latter promised, among other things, not to allow its members and other militant groups to use the soil of Afghanistan for terrorist attacks.

In a statement attributed to Mullah Shibatullah Ahhunzada issued on Sunday, the elusive Taliban leader said that as the United States once again failed to fulfill its promises, “the world must witness and let the United States treat everything Responsible for the consequences.”

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