Thousands of young girls have been buried on the top of a secluded mountain in Kabul, just a day after a high school was targeted in Afghanistan’s deadliest attack in more than a year.
Multiple explosions outside a school while shopping on a high holiday Saturday killed more than 50 people and injured hundreds more in the mostly Shia Hazara neighborhood of Das-i-Barchi in the western Kabul suburb.
The government has blamed the Taliban for the killings, but the armed group has denied responsibility and issued a statement saying the country needs to “protect and monitor educational institutions.”
Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Aryan told reporters that a car bomb exploded in front of Syed Al-Shuhda Girls’ School on Saturday, and students panicked and two more devices exploded.
Residents were shopping ahead of this week’s Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
On Sunday, relatives began burying the dead on the top of a hill known as the Shaheed Cemetery, where the victims of the attack on the Hajra community were buried.
The blasts occurred on Saturday as the U.S. military pulled out its last 2,500 troops after 20 years of military intervention in the South Asian country.
Thousands of Shia Muslims who have historically been persecuted in 37 million countries.
‘Body on top of each other’
The bodies were buried one by one in wooden coffins, the mourners are still in a state of mourning and apprehension, an AFP news agency photographer said.
“I rushed to the spot [after the blasts] And I saw myself in the middle of the corpse, with their hands and heads cut off and their bones broken, ”said Mohammad Taki, a resident of Dast-e-Barchi, whose two daughters were students at the school but escaped the attack.
“They were all girls. Their bodies are piled on top of each other’s heads. ”
Last week, students at the school protested the lack of teachers and study materials, said Mirza Hussain, a university student in the area.
“But what did they get? [in return] There was a genocide. “
Books and school bags in the hands of the victims are still scattered at the site of the attack.
Afghan officials, including President Ashraf Ghani, have blamed the Taliban.
Ghani said in a statement after the blast, “This barbaric group does not have the capacity to confront the security forces on the battlefield and instead targets public facilities and girls’ schools with brutality and brutality.”
The Taliban denied involvement and insisted they had not attacked Kabul since February last year, when they signed an agreement with Washington that paved the way for peace talks and the withdrawal of the remaining US troops.
The group has clashed daily with Afghan forces in sick countryside as the U.S. military presence has dwindled.
The Taliban chief has warned the United States
The U.S. was expected to withdraw all troops as soon as it agreed with the Taliban last year, but Washington postponed the September 11 date – a move that angered the Taliban.
The party’s leader, Haibatullah Akhunzada, reiterated in a message before Eid that any delay in withdrawing troops was a violation of the agreement.
In a message on Sunday, Akhunzada warned, “If America fails to deliver on its promises again, the world must testify and America must be held accountable for all the consequences.”
He added that the country should “maintain and oversee education centers and institutions”.
Top US diplomat in Kabul Ross Wilson called Saturday’s bombings “disgusting.”
Wilson tweeted, “This unforgettable attack on children is an attack on the future of Afghanistan, which cannot stand.”
The Dast-e-Barchi neighborhood was regularly attacked by armed groups.
In May last year, a group of gunmen carried out a brazen daylight raid on a hospital in the area, killing 24 people, including one mother of a newborn baby.
On October 24, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a tuition center in the same district, killing 17 people in an attack claimed by the ISIS militant group.