By: SEAN HANRAHAN
In the midst of the US drawdown and attempts at a ceasefire for the Eid al-Fitr festival, Afghanistan has been struck by a major series of bombings. On Saturday the eighth of May, the Sayed Al-Shuhada school for girls was bombed. The number of fatalities has reached 85, most of them being students, with another 147 people injured. A car bomb was detonated in the neighborhood of Dasht-e-Barchi, and two more bombs exploded when students rushed out in panic.The area around the school is home to a large community of Hazara (a Persian-speaking ethnic group native to Afghanistan). This community has been targeted by ISIS in the past, but no groups have claimed responsibility for the attack as of yet.
On the 13th of May, mere hours after Afghan authorities and the Taliban entered a ceasefire for festivities, four bombings took place across the country. These bombings killed 11 and wounded 13 more. It is likely three were roadside mines or other IEDs placed before the ceasefire. One of the bombs, however, was a sticky bomb attached to an innocent civilian’s car. The next day, another blast occurred, this time within a mosque in the ShakarDara district of Kabul. While the mosque itself only suffered minor structural damage, the imam and 12 others were killed, with 15 others being wounded. None of the bombings have confirmed perpetrators, and both the Afghan government and the Taliban seem eager to throw the blame at each other, rather than gather information. Despite the intense exchange of blame, no direct fighting has broken the ceasefire; yet the civilian populace still suffers the weight of the nation’s internal conflict.
The United States condemned what it described as the “barbarous attack” at the school and called for an “immediate end to violence and the senseless targeting of innocent civilians.”
“We will continue to support and partner with the people of Afghanistan, who are determined to see to it that the gains of the past two decades aren’t erased,” the statement from the US State Department said.