On July 19, 2019, a bombing was reported at Kabul University that killed at least eight people and injured another thirty-three.
Reports indicate that at least one explosive device was detonated by the south entrance to Kabul University. Exams and other summer academic activities were being held on campus when the bombing occurred.
As of this report, there is no public information regarding the identities of the victims or the perpetrator(s). No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Taliban and, in more recent years, ISIS forces have carried out violent attacks in Kabul and other parts of Afghanistan, including attacks targeting higher education personnel and facilities. From July 7-8, Afghan government officials and representatives of the Taliban held talks in Doha, Qatar, to discuss the impact of intra-state conflict on civilians, including students. The talks reportedly concluded with a pledge to ensure the safety of education facilities, among other public infrastructure.
Scholars at Risk is gravely concerned about a targeted, violent attack against a university, and sends condolences to the victims’ families. In addition to the terrible loss of life and injuries, such attacks target the core values of higher education, including academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas. State authorities have a responsibility to safeguard these values by taking all reasonable steps to ensure the security of higher education communities and their members, including a responsibility to deter future attacks by investigating incidents and making every effort to hold perpetrators accountable, consistent with internationally recognized standards.