Death toll rises in Afghanistan classroom attack

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Forty-six girls and young women were among those killed in a suicide bombing on an Afghan education centre last week, the UN said Monday as it announced the total death toll had risen to 53.

A suicide bomber blew himself up on Friday next to women at a gender-segregated study hall packed with hundreds of students sitting a practice test for university admissions.

The attack happened in a Kabul neighbourhood home to the historically oppressed Shiite Muslim Hazara community, which has been subjected to some of the worst violence in the country’s recent history.

“Our human rights team continues documenting the crime: verifying facts & establishing reliable data to counter denial & revisionism,” the United Nations assistance mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) tweeted.

It raised the death toll from 43 to 53, adding that a further 110 had been wounded.

No group has so far claimed responsibility, but the jihadist Islamic State group (IS), which considers Shiites as heretics, has carried out several deadly attacks in the same area targeting girls, schools and mosques.

Education is a flashpoint issue in Afghanistan, with the Taliban blocking many girls from returning to secondary education, while IS also stands against the education of women and girls.




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