Civilians killed in Afghan attacks

Children and women among at least 10 killed and 25 injured in violence across the country.

    Officials have blamed attacks being launched across the country on 'enemies of Afghanistan' [File: Reuters]

    Three attacks on civilians in Afghanistan have left at least 10 people dead and 25 others injured. 

    A suicide bomber detonated explosives at a sports field in northern Afghanistan on Saturday, killing one person and wounding 25 others, the governor of Faryab province said.

    Abdulhaq Shafaq said the incident took place in the Shirin Tagab district during a Buzkashi, or "goat dragging", game - a traditional sport that involves grabbing a goat from the ground while riding a horse at full gallop.

    "One civilian was killed and another 25 were wounded," Shafaq said.

    In what analysts describe as a change of approach, Taliban fighters are now attacking mainly civilian targets in order to inflict as many casualties as they can and instil an environment of fear.

    No one had claimed responsibility for Saturday's incident, but Shafaq blamed the attack on "enemies of Afghanistan", a term often used to refer to Taliban rebels waging an uprising against Afghan government and foreign forces in the nation.

    'All civilians'

    In another attack on Saturday, in the east of the country in Khost province, nine civilians travelling in a private van were reported killed by a roadside bomb.

    "Three women, four children and two men were killed by the roadside bomb explosion ... They were all civilians"

    Mohammad Yaqoub Mandozai, Khost's deputy provincial police

    Police say four children are among the dead.

    The civilians were driving into Khost city, the capital of the province, when the blast hit their van, Mohammad Yaqoub Mandozai, the deputy provincial police, told the AFP news agency.

    "Three women, four children and two men were killed by the roadside bomb explosion. They were all civilians," Mandozai said.

    Home made bombs, or Improvised Explosive Devices, are the weapon of choice for the Taliban and the main cause of casualties among Afghan and foreign forces.

    The Taliban also use suicide bombings and rocket attacks.

    'Enemies of Afghanistan'

    Earlier on Saturday, three rockets were fired into the heart of Kabul, the capital, with one landing close to the presidential palace, Zemarai Bashary, the Afghan interior ministry spokesman, said.

    Taliban suicide bombers attacked two shopping centers
    in Kabul last month [File: Reuters]

    The attack came before the start of the rush hour when the city was almost empty and caused no casualties.

    One rocket landed near the river that runs near the presidential compound and other ministries, while the other two hit a mixed residential and market area.

    The rockets were launched from the eastern edge of the city, Bashary said, blaming "enemies of Afghanistan".

    Meanwhile, Afghanistan's the National Directorate of Security (NDS) spy agency announced that it had arrested three suicide bombers from southern and eastern Afghanistan, including one Pakistani national, who were planning attacks in the country.

    Five suicide attackers targeted a bank in the eastern city of Jalalabad last Sunday killing around 40 people and wounding another 70.

    Lutfullah Mashal, a spokesman for the NDS, said it had captured the main organiser of the Jalalabad bank attack and a facilitator in Kabul who was hosting suicide attackers.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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