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Kabul: At Least 19 Dead in Suicide Attack At Education Center

    Kabul: At Least 19 Dead in Suicide Attack At Education Center
    Last updated: 2 months ago
    Image credit: AP [ABC News]

    Facts

    • At least 19 people were killed and nearly 30 others wounded in a suicide attack on an education center in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Friday, with most victims believed to be female students. [1]
    • According to Kabul police spokesperson Khalid Zadran, the blast occurred inside the center in the Dashti Barchi district of western Kabul, a predominantly Shia Muslim area and home to the Hazara minority. [2]
    • The Hazara minority, Afghanistan's third largest ethnic group, has reportedly long been persecuted not only by the Sunni Taliban but also by the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-K), a local offshoot of the Islamic State (IS), which is also Sunni but hostile to the Taliban. [3]
    • The attack, for which no one has yet claimed responsibility, reportedly killed high school graduates taking a university entrance exam. Last year, IS claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a nearby education center that killed 24 people. [4]
    • Prior to the Taliban's return to power, three bombs at a nearby school in Dasht-e-Barchi in western Kabul last year reportedly killed at least 85 people and injured about 300 others. The victims there were also said to be mostly female students. [5]
    • Since the Taliban's return to power, a series of attacks in Kabul have left dozens dead, among them a suicide bombing near the Russian Embassy in early September, killing six — including two Russian Embassy staff — and a mosque bombing in August, killing 21 people and wounding 33 others. [6]
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    Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Since the Taliban took over, Afghanistan has increasingly descended into chaos. The looming humanitarian catastrophe and economic collapse provide the perfect breeding ground for terrorist groups, not only posing a growing threat to innocent Afghans but also targeting the international community. To prevent further destabilization, a UN peacekeeping force is required to promote a peace process among all Afghans.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    It's shortsighted only to blame the Taliban for escalating violence when the country was already descending into anarchy, and the Islamic State was on the rise before the US withdrawal. This was also fostered because Washington never developed a coherent political and economic strategy for Afghanistan. With international aid funds now being cut and the US freezing billions in Afghan assets, the situation will only worsen due to Western failures.

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