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6 dead from bombing attack that hit a boys' school in Kabul


Three blasts rocked the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Tuesday. They appeared to target schools, and six people were killed. ISIS and other militants have struck schools and students in the past, but this was the first time since the Taliban swept to power in August. NPR's Diaa Hadid reports from Islamabad.

DIAA HADID, BYLINE: Mohammed Rizayee, a 21-year-old physics teacher, told NPR from the hospital that he was wounded by the blast that struck near his institution, the Mumtaz Educational Centre.

MOHAMMED REZAIE: (Non-English language spoken).

HADID: He says many of his students had head and back injuries. At least one other blast struck near the Abdul Raheem Shaheed school as students were leaving their classes. The next few minutes and hours were crushingly familiar to Afghans. Twitter users shared images of bloodied schoolbooks and cleaners hosing down sidewalks. An aid group, Emergency, that runs free hospitals said they received 10 wounded teenagers and one victim dead on arrival. The United Nations condemned the attack, as did neighboring Pakistan and the large aid group Save the Children. The schools are in a Kabul area dominated by ethnic Hazaras, who are mainly Shiites. Militants have frequently targeted them in the past. Last year, in April, attackers killed more than 85 girls who were leaving a secondary school in the same area. It was one of the worst attacks in Kabul in decades of conflict.

REZAIE: (Non-English language spoken).

HADID: Rizayee, the physics teacher, says this attack should not have happened. The Taliban boast of how they've secured Afghanistan. And certainly, militant attacks are far less frequent now. But it's no consolation for parents who again will be wondering if it's safe to send their children to school. They're boys, at least. The Taliban have not allowed girls to return to secondary school since they swept to power eight months ago. Diaa Hadid, NPR News, Islamabad. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Diaa Hadid chiefly covers Pakistan and Afghanistan for NPR News. She is based in NPR's bureau in Islamabad. There, Hadid and her team were awarded a Murrow in 2019 for hard news for their story on why abortion rates in Pakistan are among the highest in the world.