Women protest against suicide attack at tutoring center in Kabul

A group of women activists held a protest in the west of Kabul where a deadly suicide attack on a tutoring center left at least 30 people dead and over 40 others wounded, all young students.

The protesting women chanted “join us, join us”; “terrorists are committing crimes, the world is supporting”; and “genocide is a crime.”

But the protesters were dispersed by Taliban firing. Some protesting women said they were beaten up by the Taliban, especially the women who have been assigned by the Taliban to prevent the protesters.

“Our today’s protest faced violence once again. All protesting women were ‘severely beaten’,” Parsi said in a video she recorded after the protest. “One of our colleagues, Shahla, was taken to hospital after she was beaten.”

“They used butt-strokes against me,” she said, adding that “no journalist was allowed to cover the protest and that they were beaten and their cameras were taken.”

The attack was widely condemned within and outside the country. The UN special rapporteur Richard Bennett condemned the attack and said it was a repeat of a Daesh attack at the same location in 2018.

“Onslaught on education for Hazaras and Shia must end,” he asked. “Stop attacks on Afghanistan’s future. Stop international crimes.”

Former president Hamid Karzai said the attack was against all Islamic and human values.

Sibghatullah Ahmadi, a spokesman for the anti-Taliban resistance front, said the Taliban rule allows “free movement of other terrorist groups” in Afghanistan.

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif says he is deeply grieved at the loss of young lives in the attack on an education center in Kabul.

“Words can’t express this sheer barbarism,” he said, calling for “strengthening global cooperation against changing threat matrix of terrorism.”

The Emergency Hospital in Kabul said that 22 patients, including 20 women, have been received at the health facility following the suicide attack on an education center in the Hazara-majority Dasht-e-Barchi area.

The United Nations mission in Afghanistan also condemned “the callous attack at an education center in a Hazara and Shia-majority area” in the west of Kabul.

Meanwhile, US Chargé d’Affaires Karen Decker said the US strongly condemns today’s attack on Kaaj Education Center in Kabul.

“Targeting a room full of students taking exams is shameful. All students should be able to pursue an education in peace and without fear,” she added.