Herat, Bamyan women denounce deadly attack on Hazara students


KABUL: Hundreds of women in western Herat and central Bamyan provinces took to the streets on Sunday to condemn the suicide bombing that targeted an educational institute in the capital Kabul on September 30.

According to UNAMA, at least 35 girls and young women belonging to the Hazara community were killed, and another 82 were wounded in the attack on Friday. The attack drew national and international condemnation.

No group has so far claimed responsibility; however, Hazaras are usually targeted by IS-K.

 “Education is our right; genocide is a crime,” more than a hundred protesters in Herat chanted on Sunday as they made their way from Herat University to the office of the provincial governor.

However, the Taliban dispersed the women’s rally, with protesters claiming they were beaten by Taliban forces who fired shots in the air.

Dressed in black hijabs and headscarves, the protesters were stopped from reaching the office by heavily armed Taliban forces, who also ordered journalists not to report on the rally.

Elsewhere, women in central Bamyan staged a similar demonstration, saying no one is safe in a place where “suicides and explosions” are mentioned with pride.

Terming the attack on Kaaj as a blatant example of the Hazara genocide, they questioned the de facto government in Afghanistan: “Does this government have any responsibility for the lives of the citizens of this country? Is going to school for girls a crime?”

Meanwhile, social media users have started a campaign with the hashtag “#StopHazaraGenocide” in reaction to the deadly attack on the Kaaj educational center. The hashtag has become a trend on Twitter, with over 334k tweets as of writing this report.

This comes as the Dash-t-Barchi neighborhood has been witness to deadly attacks usually targeting Hazaras and students. In April, a pair of blasts struck outside a high school in Dasht-i-Barchi, killing six people, mostly teenage boys. Similarly, an attack on a nearby school in May 2021 killed at least 85 people, also primarily students.