Sectarian violence erupted on the campus of Kabul University on Saturday, claiming the life of at least one student and wounding eight others as Shiite Muslim students observed a major religious holiday, the police said.
The clash began Saturday evening as Sunni Muslim students tried to prevent their Shiite counterparts from observing Ashura inside a dormitory mosque. The holiday commemorates the martyrdom of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and a revered figure in Shiite Islam. The confrontation escalated during the night, with students throwing stones at one another. University officials eventually sent in the police to break up the melee.
Some police officers said that as many as three people might have been killed, but only one death was confirmed as of Saturday night. University officials evacuated the school and canceled classes for the next 10 days.
Shiites and Sunnis represent the two main branches of Islam. Some extremist Sunnis view Shiites as heretics.