Suicide attack at Afghan cricket match kills nine civilians

Suicide bomb attack at cricket match in southeast Afghanistan kills nine civilians and leaves more than 50 injured

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Smoke rises in the sky after a suicide car bomb attack in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan (Archive)

Updated Sep 28, 2015

At least nine people were killed in a suicide car bomb attack at a cricket match on Sunday in southeastern Paktika Province, on the border with Pakistan, while more than 50 are reported to have been injured, according to Afghan officials.

Although very few details have been released regarding the attack, authorities stated that the blast occurred during a soccer game. However, Afghanistan's Interior Ministry later announced that it took place during a cricket match.

Local government officials watching the game are believed to have been the main targets of the attack. 

Afghan chief executive Abdullah Abdullah strongly condemned Sunday’s attack on twitter.

A similar suicide attack took place last year at a volleyball game in the same province, which claimed the lives of at least 45 people and wounded 60 others.

Another attack occurred in 2010, when a suicide car bomb exploded while a group of men were playing volleyball in northwest Pakistan. Close to 30  people died in the attack. 

No group, including the Taliban, has claimed responsibility for the latest bombing.

Taliban attacks in Afghanistan have increased since early July, when both the Taliban and the Afghan government confirmed that the Taliban’s leader Mullah Omar died two years ago. 

Taliban militants killed more than 50 people in the country in a series of attacks in early August. 

Following the attacks in August, Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani accused Pakistan of not doing enough to crack down on Taliban militants.

"The last few days have shown that suicide-bomber training camps and bomb-producing factories that are killing our people are as active as before in Pakistan. We want action against the organizers," Ghani said.

"Pakistan still remains a venue and ground for gatherings from which mercenaries send us messages of war,"  he added. 

Afghanistan has repeatedly accused Pakistan of turning blind eye to the Taliban despite talks between Islamabad and the Afghan government. Ghani has pushed for the talks to help end the 14 years of violence which have claimed more than 40,000 lives in Afghanistan, and has kept away from accusing Pakistan directly of supporting the Taliban since taking office last September in order to build better relations with the country. 

TRTWorld and agencies