A series of explosions have plagued Afghanistan in recent months, with a targeted focus on schools and mosques.
Qatar has strongly condemned and denounced the targeted explosion of a mosque at a government ministry in the Afghan capital that led to the death of four people and left 25 wounded.
The suicide bombing on Wednesday occurred as staff members and guests were praying inside a mosque owned by Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry, which is in charge of maintaining security and enforcing laws throughout the nation.
The ministry has its own secured compound and is located in a prominent area of Kabul, near the airport.
In a statement on Thursday, Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs restated its firm stance against violence and terrorism, regardless of the causes and justifications. It further echoed the country’s staunch refusal of terrorising places of worship and peaceful people.
A Taliban-appointed spokesman for the ministry, Abdul Nafi Takor, said in a tweet: “Unfortunately this afternoon, about 1:30 pm [09:00 GMT], there was an explosion in a sub mosque at the Ministry of Interior, as a result four worshippers were martyred and 25 others were wounded. The incident is under investigation, we will share the details with the media when it is done.”
Italian NGO aid group Emergency, which runs a hospital in Kabul, said on Twitter that it had received 20 patients from the blast, two of whom were dead when they arrived.
Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but since the Taliban seized control in August 2021, the ISIL (ISIS) group affiliate in Afghanistan, the Taliban’s main opponent, has been waging a violent campaign against the Taliban and the minority Shia community.
A series of blasts have plagued the south Asian country in recent months, with a targeted focus on schools and mosques.
On Friday, a bomber detonated himself in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood of Kabul during a test-taking session for students preparing for university entrance examinations. Most of the students were Hazaras — a Shia-Muslim ethnic group in Afghanistan.
The minority Shia Hazara community, a historically persecuted group that has long been the subject of some of Afghanistan’s most savage attacks, is located in the western neighbourhood, a largely Shia Muslim enclave.
According to the United Nations Mission to Afghanistan, the explosion at the education centre resulted in the deaths of 53 persons, the majority of them were young women.
Sectarian attacks in Afghanistan
ISIL in Khorasan Province, or ISIL-K, has previously targeted educational institutions, particularly in the Shia-dominated Dasht-e-Barchi neighbourhood.
In April, a series of bomb explosions targeting educational institutions killed at least fifteen people and wounded at least 30.
The blasts targeted a Shia school in Kabul’s Hazara neighbourhood, in which Islamic State affiliate, known as ISIL-K, previously carried out several deliberate and targeted attacks on the Shia community living in the area, The Guardian reported.
“Some of our friends have lost hands, while some were covered in blood,” said Saeed Rahmatullah Haidari, a student at the school. “There were pieces of broken glass and pools of blood … My whole body was shaking,” as per Al Jazeera’s reports.
In May 2021, months before the Taliban took over the government in Kabul, more than 60 children, mainly girls, were killed after two bombs exploded outside their school, also in the same neighbourhood.
Hazara people are fearing a “genocide” in Afghanistan, an opinion piece platformed on Al Jazeera expressed.
“In the aftermath of the withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan, violence against the Hazara population has escalated. With a long history of persecution, including by the Taliban, the Hazaras are right to fear a genocide,” the oped noted.
The Hazara community has endured different forms of oppression from various rulers and governments, including “slavery, systematic expulsion from ancestral homes and lands, and massacres,” the article stated.
These experiences have led some to consider Hazaras to be one of the “most persecuted people in the world.”