Rights groups condemn Kabul school blast as outrage grows | 2018-08-18 | daily-sun.com

Rights groups condemn Kabul school blast as outrage grows

    18 August, 2018 12:00 AM printer

KABUL: Rights groups Thursday condemned a suicide blast inside a school that killed dozens of students in Kabul a day earlier, as outrage over the attack grew while tearful families buried loved ones in the war-weary Afghan capital, reports AFP.

The Islamic State-claimed blast hit an education centre in a Shiite area of western Kabul where students were studying for college entrance exams.

The attack was just one of the most shocking in a blood-soaked week across Afghanistan that has left security forces and civilians reeling.

Two gunmen attacked an intelligence training centre in Kabul Thursday, firing on security forces for several hours before they were killed, police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai said, adding that there were no other casualties.

Thursday’s attack was also claimed by the Islamic State via their Amaq propaganda service.

In addition to the IS attacks, Taliban militants also delivered high-profile, demoralising blows in the strategic city of Ghazni—which they attacked last week, forcing security forces backed by US air power to struggle for days to push them out—and in Faryab, where they captured a northern base, killing at least 17 soldiers.

Security forces in Afghanistan, beset by desertions and killings, have suffered staggering losses since US-led NATO ended its combat mission in the country in 2014.

The week’s violence has raised questions about their ability to hold off the resurgent Taliban.

But civilians have long taken the brunt of the violence in Afghanistan—especially in Kabul, a target of both the Taliban and IS—and Wednesday’s attack on the school was branded a “war crime” by Amnesty International.

The majority of the victims were children, most aged between 16 and 18, authorities said, and were studying for their university entrance exams.

Amnesty warned it proved “beyond any doubt that Afghanistan and, in particular, its capital Kabul, are not safe”, and said European countries must stop returning Afghan refugees to the war-torn country.