Deaths in Afghan dogfight blast

Two blasts kill at least 14 people as local residents watch an illegal dogfight in the volatile Kandahar province.

    Local and international troops are struggling to prevent attacks that have killed scores in recent weeks [File: AFP]

    At least eight people have been killed after two bombs exploded at a dogfight event in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar, officials said.

    The blasts took place as villagers gathered to watch the traditional event in Arghandab district, located on the outskirts of Kandahar city on Sunday.

    "People had gathered to watch dogfighting. Two explosions, from planted bombs, happened. Eight people, all civilians, have been killed," Shah Mohammad, the district chief of Arghandab, told AFP news agency.

    Though dog fights are against the law in Afghanistan, they are still common and often ignored by the authorities.

    In this case, however, police had heard about the fight and had just arrived to break it up when a bomb exploded,  according to Niaz Mohammad, a district police chief.

    He also said that another blast went off as security forces got out of their vehicle, and that five policemen were subsequently wounded.

    Spate of attacks

    It was unclear who the target of the attack was, though a witness said it was unlikely that it was the police.

    "The Taliban also don't allow dogfighting," Ismail Alokozai, a local resident, who was in the area during the first blast and helped some of the wounded, told the Associated Press.

     "This was not the first time that there was a bombing at a dogfight. It is probably the fourth time.''

    In recent weeks, scores of civilians have been killed in a spate of attacks across Afghanistan, and on Saturday, at least four people were killed in the northwest of the country when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest at a sports field.

    About 2,000 people had gathered for a game of buzkashi, a traditional Afghan sport in which players on horseback wrangle for a headless goat carcass.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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