SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: April 25, 2019

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Jahan University

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Afghanistan

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On April 25, 2019, an unidentified individual reportedly attempted to plant a bomb at Jahan University, in Kabul. The device detonated prematurely, killing the individual and injuring three students.

The individual reportedly entered Jahan University’s campus in Kabul’s eastern Kārte Naw neighborhood and attempted to place a bomb in one of the bathrooms. It detonated prematurely at around 10:30 am, while most students were in classes. In addition to killing the individual, the explosion injured three students, who were hit with shards of glass.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but police have reportedly launched an investigation into the identity of the assailant, whom they believe was a member of a militant group. University administrators cancelled classes for the remainder of the day. Militant groups including the Taliban and the Islamic State have frequently targeted higher education in Afghanistan in recent years.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the targeting of a university with lethal violence. State authorities have a responsibility to ensure the safety of higher education communities, to prevent future attacks, and to hold perpetrators accountable. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, such attacks undermine academic freedom, institutional autonomy, the right to education, and democratic society generally.