KABUL -- Afghanistan declared a national day of mourning on November 3 to honor the 22 people killed in an attack a day earlier on Kabul University, which was claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.
Most of those killed were students and another 27 people were injured, some of them critically.
The hours-long assault was the second attack on an educational institution in the Afghan capital in as many weeks amid a rise in violence across Afghanistan, even as Taliban militants and government negotiators hold peace talks in Qatar.
The Islamic State affiliate also claimed the earlier attack on October 24 that killed 24 students at a tutoring center.
A group of demonstrators gathered outside Kabul University on November 3 demanding a cease-fire and urging the government to withdraw from the peace talks until a permanent end to hostilities is declared. Some held signs reading “Why are you killing us?”
President Ashraf Ghani warned that the perpetrators would be pursued.
“We will not remain silent. We will take the revenge," he said in a video message on November 3. "Our brave forces are after you everywhere and they will eliminate you.”
The Taliban have denied involvement and condemned the attack within hours of its start, but Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh blamed the militant group.
Under an agreement signed with the United States in February, the Taliban has committed to fighting the IS group.
The lead Afghan peace negotiator, Muhammad Masoom Stanekzai, called for an immediate cease-fire announcement from the Taliban.
“If Taliban is committed to end brutal killing of people then should accept cease-fire,” Stanekzai tweeted November 3.