India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday "strongly condemned" the terrorist attack at Kabul University, saying "India stands in solidarity with those who have lost their sons and daughters in this heinous act."
"Education is one of the most important gains of the last 19 years in Afghanistan and must be preserved. India salutes the aspirations of Afghan youth in their quest for knowledge, education and peace," the MEA statement read.
It further said that the attack was a "stark reminder that terrorism, in all its forms, must be eliminated for durable peace in Afghanistan and the region."
For the uninitiated, two gunmen stormed Kabul University on Monday as it hosted a book fair attended by the Iranian ambassador to Afghanistan, sparking an hours-long gun battle. The attack left at least 25 dead and several wounded.
Later, the Islamic State claimed responsibility of the attack. "Two Islamic State fighters managed to attack a gathering set up by the Afghan government at the Kabul University for the graduation of judges and investigators after completing a course at the university," the jihadist group's propaganda arm Amaq News Agency said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attack and asserted that India will continue to support Afghanistan's brave struggle against terrorism. "I strongly condemn the cowardly terrorist attack at Kabul University today. Our prayers are with the families of the victims and the injured," PM Modi tweeted. "We will continue to support Afghanistan's brave struggle against terrorism," he said.
Besides, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also strongly condemned the "appalling attack". "This appalling attack, the second in ten days on a school facility in Kabul, is also an assault on the human right to education," a statement issued by the spokesperson for the Secretary-General said. Guterres reiterated that those responsible must be held accountable. "The United Nations stands by the people and Government of Afghanistan in support of their long-held aspirations for peace," the statement added.
(With input from agencies)