Kabul, Kaaj school attack: Denunciation from Italy of two former Hazara students
Not counting the attacks in the last month, 700 members of the Shia minority have been killed in 13 attacks by the Islamic State in little more than a year. The girls who had taken to the streets to ask for protection were struck by food poisoning: probably a deliberate act by the Taliban. Also yesterday another explosion against the Afghan authorities.
Milan (AsiaNews) - "I had not yet opened my eyes properly on the morning of 30 September when I read the news that the Kaaj education centre had been attacked by terrorists". So says Amena Baturi, a 16-year-old Hazara girl who fled Afghanistan a little over a year ago after the Taliban took over.
"I was very angry, I couldn't believe it, I tried everyone I had contact with, classmates, friends: no response. Only after several hours, through social media, did I find out about the killing and wounding of several pupils, including some former classmates". Fifty-three people died in the explosion, including 46 Hazara students.
Amena, a national and international Taekwondo champion since her childhood, had also attended the public school in the Dasht-e-Barchi district in Kabul, which was hit by an Is-K (Islamic State of Khorasan Province) terrorist attack at the end of last month. The young sportswoman wanted to study mathematics because 'we hoped for a better future for our generation'.
On the morning of 30 September, Amena had immediately called her friend Omulbanin, also a Hazara refugee now living in Italy and also a former student at the Kaaj education centre: 'Amena shouts and asks me to call Maryam, Sharifa and Rehela. Only one of their friends, Maryam, late for her scheduled exam that morning, managed to save herself.
"After two days I called her back and asked her how she was," Omulbanin continued, "I will never recover," her friend replied. "I wish that no one in this world would get tired of living because of belonging to a group or ethnicity."
The Taliban, who had reported 30 dead, threatened the students and teachers not to take pictures for the media and not to report the incident. In the days following the attack, women took to the streets in protest to demand the right to study and an end to the genocide against the Hazara community, the Shia minority that has always been persecuted in Afghanistan, first by the Taliban, now by the Islamic State fundamentalists who consider the country's new authorities lukewarm on Islamic ideology. About fifty girls then ended up in hospital with food poisoning: according to some sources, this was a deliberate act by the Taliban to put an end to the demonstrations.
According to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report published a month ago (thus not including the most recent attacks, including the one on 30 September), over 700 Hazaras have been killed in at least 13 attacks by the local branch of the former Isis in the past year.
The most recent attack, which seems to have been directed at the Taliban and not at religious minorities, took place yesterday: an explosion took place in a mosque near the Ministry of Interior in the late afternoon. It is not known the exact number of victims (according to some sources there are at least 20) because the authorities insist on giving the impression that they are capable of administering the country.
Clearly this is not the case: the Human Rights Watch report accuses the Taliban government of not being able to protect minorities and of failing to provide adequate medical care for the victims and their families, despite having pledged to do so when they took power in August last year.
"The problem is not that the Taliban are responsible for the violence. They are responsible for not providing adequate security for their people,' explained John Sifton, regional director of Hrw Asia. 'If they are going to act as a governing authority their first priority should be to protect the population from the violence' of Is-K. The organisation also fears that many suicide attacks - especially those in remote provinces - go unreported because of the Taliban's control over the media.