Afghanistan Conflict IS Links To Kabul Student Killings Cause Outrage


Afghanistan Conflict IS Links To Kabul Student Killings Cause Outrage

Mohammad Rahid’s warm and cheerful expression radiates through a motivational video clip that has been widely shared online following his death.

“Life is full of challenges, pain, sadness, pressures and problems,” he says, “but still, there is a smile on these lips.”

On Monday the 22-year oldĀ student was among more than 20 people killed in an attack by gunmen on Kabul University, one of Afghanistan’s oldest and most popular institutions. The assault on young men and women trying to build a future for themselves and their country has shaken the city’s residents and caused outrage. It’s hard to comprehend who could commit such cold-hearted murders.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility, releasing a photograph of two masked attackers, who, it said, targeted a ceremony for “the graduation of judges and investigators”.

IS is the latest player to emerge in the murky world of militants in the country, further complicating the already bloody war between the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents. It’s far less powerful than the Taliban and recently lost most of the territory it once controlled in the east of the country, but it retains the ability to carry out deadly attacks.

Both the Taliban and the government have fought against IS and both regard it with suspicion, accusing each other of secretly supporting the jihadists and using them to undermine slow-moving peace talks.

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Questions over ‘Taliban flag’

That war of narratives over IS has come to the fore in the aftermath of this awful attack.

Amrullah Saleh, the first vice-president of Afghanistan, and a vocal critic of the Taliban, described the IS statement as “fake”, stating that the weapons found at the scene do not match those in the photo released by IS. Mr Saleh also pointed to a “Taliban flag” apparently found at the scene of the attack as evidence that the Taliban – rather than IS – carried it out.

Afghanistan Conflict IS Links To Kabul Student Killings Cause Outrage


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