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Afghanistan: at least 19 dead in an attack against a training center in Kabul

"Students were preparing for an exam when a suicide bomber blew himself up in this educational center.

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Afghanistan: at least 19 dead in an attack against a training center in Kabul

"Students were preparing for an exam when a suicide bomber blew himself up in this educational center. Unfortunately, 19 people died and 27 others were injured," said police spokesman Khalid Zadran.

This training center prepares students, aged 18 and over, for their university entrance exams.

This attack, which once again targets the world of education, took place in the district of Dasht-e-Barchi, in the west of Kabul, a predominantly Shiite Muslim area where the minority Hazara community lives, the scene of some of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan.

Videos posted on social media and photos published by local media show bloodied victims being carried from the scene of the explosion.

Most of the victims transported to hospitals are women, noted an AFP journalist.

Security teams were deployed to the scene as families streamed into the various hospitals in tears, looking for their loved ones.

In at least one hospital, however, the Taliban forced the families of the victims to leave the site, fearing that a new attack would be launched in the middle of the crowd.

Lists of the dead or injured were hung at the entrance to hospitals where ambulances converge, AFP noted.

- Not found -

"We didn't find her here," worried a young woman in distress, looking for her sister in one of them. "She was 19." "We call her but she does not answer," the young woman despairs.

"Attacking civilian targets proves the enemy's inhuman cruelty and lack of moral standards," Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul Nafy Takor said earlier.

On April 20, at least six people were killed and 24 injured in two explosions that hit a school for boys in the same district in the west of the capital.

Dasht-e-Barchi has been heavily hit in recent years and since the Taliban's return to power in 2021 by several attacks claimed by EI-K, the regional branch of the jihadist group Islamic State, which considers the Hazaras as heretics.

In May 2021, a series of explosions also occurred in front of a school for girls in the same district, killing 85 people, mostly high school girls, and more than 300 injured.

First a car bomb exploded in front of the school, then two more bombs followed as students rushed outside. IS, which had already claimed responsibility for an attack in October 2020 against an educational center (24 dead) in the same area, is strongly suspected of having carried out this attack.

Smaller attacks, claimed by ISIS, still took place in Dasht-e-Barchi in November and December 2021.

The Taliban's return to power in August 2021 ended two decades of war in Afghanistan and led to a significant reduction in violence, but security has begun to deteriorate in recent months.

Education is an extremely sensitive issue in Afghanistan, with the Taliban preventing many girls from returning to secondary education. The Islamic State group also opposes the education of women and girls.

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