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Let’s Tune In is a weekly column produced by our Newsroom team to highlight one story that you might have missed from last week. You can read more about our weekly content on the Newsroom page.
On September 30th, a suicide attack took place at the Kaaj tuition center, in the Dasht-e-Barchi area in the western part of Afghanistan‘s capital, Kabul. The attack cost 35 deaths and 80 w0unded, most of them women. The news comes from the United Nations which expressed its condolence to the victims. The suicide attack started with the killing of the guards in front of the education center and ended with the explosion inside.
The Kaaj education center is not the first private college, that teaches both male and female students, hit by suicide attacks. It happened also before the Taliban took over the country when a school in the same place was attacked causing 85 deaths and hundreds wounded. However, the problem that affects the country is not only a gender problem because there have been also several attacks against civilians in the same area that let the International Community think this is not the only internal problem in Afghanistan.
Several entities, among which the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, noted that where the explosion took place, Dasht-e-Barchi, is the home of the “Hazara” minority who has often been targeted by the Islamic State (IS) militants and in the past also by the Taliban. However, the IS did not claim responsibility and the Taliban expressed their condolences to the victims. A matter that complicates the situation is the fact that the majority of the Hazara community living in the area can be identified as Shia Muslims, making them also the target of Sunni Islam.
International public opinion is unified in the judgment of what happened there. Karen Decker, charge d’affaires at the US mission to Afghanistan said: “Targeting a room full of students taking exams is shameful; all students should be able to pursue an education in peace and without fear” (you can read more here). Moreover, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said: “The United Nations family condemns the outrage, extending its deep condolences to all those in mourning” (you can read more here). In the end, it is important to mention what the Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul Nafy Takor said: “(this attack) proves the enemy’s inhuman cruelty and lack of moral standards (you can read more here).
After the suicide attack, protests developed against the silent “genocide” of the Hazara and the gender education inequality, principally formed by Afghan women, but this would not be accepted by the Taliban regime which would stop the protest using force. It is interesting to outline as there have been several protests also in its neighbor Iran where the protagonists were always women.
Afghanistan is facing several internal problems among which are ethnic and gender problems. The private schools were the environment where people thought the women and the Hazara community could grow but due to the fact this does not happen, the population, especially women, asked for a change and asked the Taliban to “stop genocide and the gender education inequality”.
Will the Afghan government be able to face its internal problems in the eyes of the International Community?