An explosion at a school for girls in Kabul, Afghanistan has killed dozens, most of them young students. Multiple bombs struck the school on May 8, leaving families desperately searching for loved ones and medical personnel attempting to cope with more than 150 injured civilians. The attack has been blamed on the Taliban or ISIS, both accused of targeting the school as part of an attack on the local Shiite population, who have been frequently assaulted by the groups.
Explosions target young students
The attack began when a car bomb was detonated outside the Sayed Al- Shuhada school on Saturday evening.
Students inside, girls aged between 11 and 15, were preparing to leave the school , which teaches girls and boys in separate shifts.
After hearing the initial explosion, the schoolgirls rushed outside, where the attackers detonated two more bombs, catching dozens in the blasts, almost all of them students.
The latest figures place the death toll at 85, with 165 survivors currently being treated for injuries and some victims still unaccounted for, as police and families continue to search for missing loved ones through the wreckage.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, which was evidently intended to specifically target young girls attending the school.
One local reported that he and others had spent the entire night after the bombing helping in the removal of bodies from the site, adding “Why not just kill all of us to put an end to this war?”
Taliban denies involvement
While blame has fallen on both the Taliban and ISIS, a spokesman for the former group has condemned the attack and denied any Taliban involvement.
Afghan officials claim that Taliban activity has been increasing in intensity following the latest American promises to complete the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country.
The heavily Shiite area has, however, been a frequent target of ISIS militants in the region, making them likely culprits for the school explosions.
Authorities in Kabul have been accused of not doing enough to secure the city from militant activity following the attack, though the government has attempted to increase their security presence throughout Kabul.
International responses have expressed sympathy for the victims and condemned whoever was responsible for the school explosions.
Along with statements from the European Union, India, and the United Nations, Pope Francis joined in discussing the “inhuman act” before pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square.