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UN chief condemns attack on educational centre in Kabul
New York: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the heinous attack on an educational centre in the Dasht-e-Barchi area of Kabul - a predominately Hazara Shia area - which caused scores of casualties, mostly women.
He also extended his condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured. "Education is a fundamental right and an essential driver for sustainable peace and development," the UN press release read quoting UN Secretary-General. The Secretary-General reiterated his call on all parties to ensure the protection of civilians. He also called on the de facto authorities to protect the rights of all Afghans - regardless of ethnicity or gender - to access education safely and securely.
Friday's blast claimed at least 19 lives and injured dozens inside the Kaaj Educational Center.
Earlier, UNICEF condemned the blast and said that violence in or around education establishments is unacceptable. UNICEF reminded all parties in Afghanistan to adhere to and respect human rights, ensuring the safety and protection of all children and young people.
Kabul Police spokesperson Khalid Zadran told CNN that the explosion occurred at the Kaaj education centre at 7:30 am local time. "Unfortunately, the explosion has caused human casualties. Security forces have reached the area and we will share the type of the explosion and casualty figures later," said Zadran.
In a Twitter post, NGO Afghan Peace Watch said a suicide bomber detonated himself among students, targeting Kaaj educational centre in a Hazara neighbourhood. This explosion comes a few days after a blast was reported near the Wazir Akbar Khan area of Kabul that sparked a global outcry. The recent blast outside the Russian Embassy in Kabul was also condemned in the strongest terms.
This series of blasts come as the Taliban completed one year of its rule in Afghanistan following the ouster of the US-backed civilian government last year. Rights groups said the Taliban had broken multiple pledges to respect human and women's rights.
After capturing Kabul in August last year, the Islamic authorities imposed severe restrictions on women's and girls' rights, suppressed the media, and arbitrarily detained, tortured, and summarily executed critics and perceived opponents.
Rights groups say that the Taliban's human rights abuses have brought widespread condemnation and imperilled international efforts to address the country's dire humanitarian situation. (ANI)