KABUL: At least 19 people were killed and 24 others wounded — all of them children and ordinary people — by a blast at a seminary in Afgh­anistan’s northern city of Aybak on Wednesday, hospital sources said.

There have been dozens of blasts and attacks targeting civilians since the Tali­ban returned to power in August 2021, most claimed by the local chapter of the Islamic State (IS) group. However, no group claimed the latest bombing till late Wednesday evening.

Aybak, about 200 kilometres north of the capital Kabul, is a small but ancient provincial capital that came to prominence as a caravan stopping post for traders during the fourth and fifth centuries when it was also an important Buddhist centre.

Images and video circulating on social media, whi­ch could not immediately be verified, showed Taliban fig­hters picking their way thr­ough bodies strewn acr­oss the floor of a building.

Prayer mats, shattered glass and other debris littered the scene.

A doctor at a local hospital in Aybak said the casualties were mostly youngsters. “All of them are children and ordinary people,” he said.

A provincial official confirmed the blast at religious seminary, but could not provide death toll. The Taliban, which frequently plays down casualty figures, said 10 students had died and “many others” were injured.

“Our detective and security forces are working quickly to identify the perpetrators of this unforgivable crime and punish them for their actions,” tweeted Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul Nafay Takor.

Amnesty International called the blast “disturbing”, adding in a tweet it was “yet another reminder to the world that the sufferings of Afghan people are far from over.”

Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Crisis conference
Updated 04 Feb, 2023

Crisis conference

PTI's refusal to engage with the govt in such testing times will only be seen as sign of ideological bankruptcy.
Revenge politics
04 Feb, 2023

Revenge politics

A SENSE of déjà-vu prevails as cases pile up against PTI politicians, many of whom, along with their allies and...
Inappropriate remarks
04 Feb, 2023

Inappropriate remarks

OFFICIALS of the state, especially when representing the country at international forums, need to choose their words...
Delay in the offing?
Updated 03 Feb, 2023

Delay in the offing?

Govt must realise that political stability in the country cannot be achieved by extra-constitutional actions.
Divisions in PML-N
03 Feb, 2023

Divisions in PML-N

DISCORD and drama in PML-N ranks escalated this week when Shahid Khaqan Abbasi revealed he no longer holds a party...
Wikipedia ‘downgrade’
03 Feb, 2023

Wikipedia ‘downgrade’

ATTEMPTS to police the internet by states, often by giving opaque justifications for the action, are never a good...