By RFE/RL’s Radio Azadi
October 1, 2022
Several dozen Afghans, mostly women, have protested after a suicide bombing killed dozens of mostly female students preparing for university entrance exams in Kabul.
Police have put the death toll in the September 30 attack at “at least 20 people,” while the United Nations told the AFP news agency on October 1 that at least 35 people had died and 82 were wounded.
Most of the victims were from the minority Hazara community, a mainly Shi’ite Muslim ethnic minority that has been targeted in brutal attacks in recent years.
Nearly 100 protesters marched past a hospital on October 1 where victims of the attack were being treated chanting, “Stop Hazara genocide” and “It’s not a crime to be a Shi’a.”
Dozens of heavily armed Taliban militiamen watched the protest.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack on the Kaaj Higher Educational Center, but the Islamic State group, which regards Shi’a as heretics, has claimed previous attacks in the area targeting women, schools, and mosques.
The Taliban — which took over the Afghan government in August 2021 following the withdrawal of the U.S.-led international coalition — also regards the Hazara as heretics.
The attack is a “shamefaced reminder of the ineptitude and utter failure of the Taliban, as de facto authorities, to protect the people of Afghanistan,” Samira Hamidi of rights group Amnesty International said in a statement.
With reporting by AFP
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