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: September 16, 2019

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Ghazni University

Region & Country:Southern Asia | Afghanistan

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On September 16, 2019, unidentified individuals carried out a violent attack on a bus carrying Ghazni University students, killing the driver and injuring five students.

Sources indicate that a magnetic explosive device had been rigged to the bus, which is reportedly operated by the university. The device was reportedly detonated at roughly 12:30 PM.

While no group has publicly claimed responsibility for the attack, this incident appears to fit into a recent uptick in violent, targeted attacks on higher education communities in Afghanistan. Similar attacks were carried out on June 2 and August 27, 2019.

Scholars at Risk is gravely concerned about targeted, lethal violence against university students, 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.