In the name of God, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful.

“Indeed, we belong to God and to Him do we indeed return.” (The Holy Quran, 2:156.)

The horrific crime that killed many female students of the Sayyid al-Shuhada School in Kabul during a day in the blessed month of Ramadan resulted in the martyrdom of dozens of students and wounding many more. This crime bloodies the heart of every free and conscientious person and fills it with grief and sorrow.

Defenseless civilians in Afghanistan have suffered many brutal attacks by extremist groups over the past years. Yet this crime is exceptional in its kind and is the most painful in many respects.

We extend our deepest condolences and sympathy to the honorable and persecuted Afghan people, especially the bereaved families directly affected by this great tragedy. We ask God Almighty to inspire the families of the martyrs with patience and solace and to bless the wounded with a speedy recovery.

In light of the difficult situation that beloved Afghanistan is going through and given the possibility of extremist and extremist groups gaining more strength in the coming period, national unity and solidarity among all ethnic groups and nationalities in this country has become more necessary than ever before. The Afghan government, national leaders, religious leaders, and community elders must work to find a way to protect civilians – especially ethnic and religious minorities – against the suppression and crimes of terrorist groups, and to take appropriate measures in this regard.

Islamic countries and the international community must fulfill their responsibilities and not leave the defenseless Afghan people alone in these difficult circumstances. They must not allow the implementation of the evil plan drawn up by those who harbor ill for the future of this country. If this evil plan were to be implemented, it would lead to the death of more innocent people through the criminal attacks launched by these extremist groups.

We ask God, the High and Almighty, to bless the proud Afghan people with honor and might.

27 Ramadan 1442 AH (10 May 2021)

The Office of Ayatollah Sistani, the Holy City of Najaf.