Kabul: On Monday, gunmen swept Kabul University when it hosted a book fair. The Iranian ambassador to Afghanistan attended the book fair, which triggered an hour-long gun battle and caused at least the largest school in the war-torn country. 19 people were killed and 22 people were injured.
Tariq Arian, a spokesman for the ministry, also said that three of the attackers were killed in the subsequent exchange of fire. As the sun slowly set over the Afghan capital, the Taliban issued a statement denying their involvement in the attack, but no other details.
At the time of the attack, the insurgents were continuing to negotiate peace with the US-backed government. These negotiations were conducted in Qatar, in the Arabian Gulf, with the aim of helping the United States finally withdraw from the longest war in the United States, although daily bloodshed continued, and a branch of the Islamic State launched itself against the Shiites of the country. Attack.
The battle lasted for five hours, and sporadic grenade explosions and automatic weapon fires echoed in the empty streets around the university fenced compound. Guarded by Afghan troops. Earlier, people saw students fleeing the scene.
“Unfortunately, there were casualties.” Arian said when the attack occurred, without elaborating.
A university student, Ahmad Samim, told reporters that he saw pistols and Kalashnikov assault rifles armed by militants firing at the school. The country is the oldest with about 17,000 students. He said that the attack took place on the east side of the university, where the law and journalism department of the university teaches.
Afghan media reported that at the time of the shooting, the university was holding a book fair with many VIPs attending.
Although Afghan officials refused to discuss the book fair, Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency reported on Sunday that Iran’s ambassador Bahador Aminian and cultural commissioner Mojtaba Noroozi ) Plan to hold an opening ceremony for the book fair, which will host about 40 Iranian publishers. Iran’s national television reported the attack but did not provide information about the officials.
Iranian diplomats had previously launched attacks in the country and became targets of attacks, which almost triggered a war between the two countries. In 1998, Iran demanded that the Taliban be held responsible for the deaths of nine Iranian diplomats working at the consulate in northern Afghanistan and sent reinforcements to the 950-kilometer (580-mile) border between Iran and Afghanistan.
Although the Taliban issued a statement stating that they were not involved, no organization was immediately responsible for the attack. However, the suspicion immediately fell on the Islamic State group.
Last month, the Islamic State Group dispatched a suicide bomber to an education center in the Shi’ite neighborhood of the Shiite-dominated Dasht-e-Balchi district of the capital, killing 24 students and killing more than 100 People were injured. Afghanistan’s Islamic State subsidiary has declared war on the Shi’a ethnic minority in Afghanistan. Since its appearance in 2014, Muslims have launched dozens of attacks.
In the past, schools have also become targets of attacks. Last year, a bomb outside the campus of Kabul University killed 8 people. In 2016, gunmen attacked the American University in Kabul, killing 13 people.
Although the Taliban and the government-appointed negotiating team discussed a peace agreement to end the country’s more than forty years of war, violence in Afghanistan continues. The negotiations in Qatar are progressing slowly, and despite repeated demands to reduce violence, the chaos has not abated.
The agreement reached between the United States and the Taliban in February laid the foundation for the current peace negotiations in Doha. The agreement also allows the withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan.
At the same time, on Monday, a car crashed into a roadside mine in the southern province of Helmand, killing at least seven civilians, most of them women and children.