Afghanistan has closed down three major public universities in the capital, Kabul, for more than a week after sectarian clashes left one student dead and nearly 30 others wounded.
Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said on November 25 that Afghanistan’s Higher Education Ministry closed down the universities for 10 days as a “precautionary measure.”
The clashes erupted on November 24 after a ritual marking the Shi’ite Muslim festival of Ashura was interrupted by hard-line Sunni students. Students attacked each other with sticks and rocks.
Ali Akbar, an Afghan Shi’ite Muslim and a student at Kabul University, claimed two of his fellow Shi’ite students died when they were pushed out of the window of their dormitory.
“The clashes started between Shi’a and Sunnis. Some of our Shi’ite brothers were in the dormitory when [the Sunnis] started a sectarian fight with them and pushed two of our Shi’ite brothers from the fourth floor and they were both martyred,” Akbar said.
His claims have not been confirmed.
Calls For Restraint
The violence primarily hit a university hostel which houses students from the provinces.
Political leaders, including representatives from Shi’ite communities, have called for restraint following the clashes.