Afghan law students and young lawyers in Afghanistan have been reporting on the ground from that country since the Taliban took Kabul in August 2021. Here, one of our correspondents in Kabul files a dispatch on an explosion at an education institute earlier today that killed over 20 people, most of whom were female students. For privacy and security reasons, we are withholding our correspondent’s name. The text has only been lightly edited to respect the author’s voice.
Around noon today, 30 September 2022, a Kankor test prepatory center (Kankor is a pre-university test, much like the SATs in the US) in a Hazara ethnic district of Kabul was targeted by a suicide bomber. Sources in the center told the media that the blast happened when the students were taking a mock test. What I remember from when I was taking the preparatory course is that those days when the mock tests were scheduled had the highest attendance. Given that, and as per reporting by CNN, quoting a physician at Mohammad Ali Jenah Hospital, at least 23 students have lost their precious lives and at least 36 other students have been injured. Witnesses add that the injured students have been transferred to multiple hospitals. A teacher in the center has said that they have buried 35 bodies and more than 50 students are missing.
Consistent with their previous demonstrated lack of empathy, the Taliban forbade women who had gathered outside a hospital to donate blood to the injured students and beat family members of those who had come to look for their loved ones – or what remains of their loved ones.
Amnesty International has called the attack on Hazara minorities “terrifying”, and has called it an indicator of the Taliban’s incompetency in protecting Afghan citizens. Amrullah Saleh, the former vice president, has said that the use of suicide bombings was perpetuated by the Taliban at the first place. At the same time a Taliban spokesperson has called the attack “wild” and has condemned it. But wait. The Taliban are condemning a suicide attack, while having created and trained and brainwashed a battalion just for preforming sucide attacks?
We are living in a country where tens of young souls full of dreams and hopes and future plans are killed in an instant, for the sole crime of wanting to learn. Afghanistan International has shared a clip of the students of the center who are torn to pieces now. In that clip hundreds of students are repeating a vow after their teacher; “We promise to ourselves and our peers that we will not surrender to the struggles of life, and we promise to work more than anybody for a diligent, strong, free and conscious society.” This is what they vowed.