A bomb went off in Kabul on Saturday that killed at least 10 people. Shortly after 3 p.m., the bomb exploded near the gates of Kabul Educational University. Students and pedestrians were walking through the area at the time. Dr. Ghulam Sarwar Zohair, an employee of a nongovernmental organization with offices nearby, said, “Students and schoolgirls were passing Lots of people got injured and probably killed.”
Around the gates of the school, all that could be seen is devastation. The blast pulverized bystanders, leveled structures, and destroyed more than a dozen cars, covering the ground with shattered glass, blood and pieces of flesh. A large bus filled with people was shredded in the blast. More bodies are likely to be uncovered as the area is cleared.
According to witnesses and the spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defense, the bomb also struck an Afghan Army Humvee patrolling the area. On the Humvee, at least one soldier was killed and three others were wounded. The bombing shows the insurgency’s intense desire to prevent an American presence from remaining in Afghanistan beyond 2014.
The powerful car bomb blew up near the location where Afghan elders are scheduled to vote on a long-term security agreement with the United States. Just a few hundred yards from the gate of the university is the site where the elders and other important Afghans have gathered to vote on the security agreement between Afghanistan and the United States. The assembly, known as a loya jirga, must approve the pact to allow United States forces to remain in the country and continue training the Afghan Army.
The loya jirga is a significant symbol of the country’s fledgling democracy. Spokesman for the loya jirga Abdul Khaliq Hussain Pashayee said, “We believe it was meant to bring disorder before we convene the jirga. We are hopeful and expect Afghan security forces to provide a better security environment for the representatives of the people who will be meeting next week.” Nearly 2,500 people are expected to convene in the area for the jirga.