Drama in Afghanistan: at least 19 dead in an explosion in a Koranic school
Steph Deschamps / December 1, 2022
At least 19 people were killed and 24 wounded, mostly young people, on Wednesday in an attack on a Koranic school in the northern Afghan town of Aybak.
Dozens of explosions and attacks targeting civilians have occurred since the Taliban returned to power in August 2021, most of which have been claimed by the local chapter of the Islamic State group (EI-K).
A provincial official confirmed that Wednesday's blast occurred in Al Jihad Madrassa, but could not provide the number of casualties.
"They are all children and ordinary people," a doctor at a hospital in Aybak, capital of Samangan province, about 300 km north of Kabul, told AFP on condition of anonymity.
A provincial official confirmed the blast, but could not provide the number of casualties or information on the circumstances.
"Our investigators and security forces are working quickly to identify the perpetrators of this unforgivable crime and punish them for their actions," Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul Nafay Takor tweeted.
Photos and videos posted on social media, which could not be immediately authenticated, show Taliban fighters near bodies strewn on the floor of a building covered in blood. Prayer rugs, broken glass and other debris also litter the room.
The return of the Taliban to power in August 2021 ended two decades of war in Afghanistan and led to a significant reduction in violence.
However, dozens of attacks targeting civilians have taken place, most of them claimed by the local chapter of the Islamic State group (EI-K).
Taliban officials maintain control of security in the country, often denying or downplaying incidents reported on social networks.
Analysts, however, consider the iE jihadists, a sunni group like the taliban but with which it has deep enmity and ideological differences, to be the main threat to their regime.
On October 5, at least four people were killed in Kabul in an explosion at a Ministry of the Interior mosque.
A few days earlier, on September 30, a suicide bombing at a Kabul training center preparing for university exams killed 54 people, including at least 51 girls, according to the UN. The attack was carried out in a neighborhood populated by the Shiite Hazara minority.
No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Afghan government accused the EI-K of carrying it out.
In mid-October, Afghan security forces announced that they had killed six members of the EI-K, who were accused of involvement in the attack as well as the attack on a mosque in Kabul.
On September 23, at least seven people were killed in a car bombing near a mosque in the capital, frequented by senior Taliban officials and fighters.