Suicide bomber at Afghan sports field kills three | Pakistan Today

Suicide bomber at Afghan sports field kills three

MAZAR-I-SHARIF/KHOST – A suicide bomber detonated explosives strapped to his body at a sports field in northern Afghanistan Saturday killing three and wounding 38, a provincial governor said.
Abdulhaq Shafaq, the Faryab governor, said the attack took place in Shirin Tagab district during a buzkashi game, a traditional sport involving grabbing a dead goat or calf from the ground while riding a horse at full gallop.
“A suicide bomber detonated explosives strapped to his body in a crowd of people who had gathered to watch a buzkashi game today”, Shafaq said. “Thirty eight of our countrymen were injured and three others including one child were martyred in the blast,” he added. Earlier he gave a toll of one killed and 24 wounded.
The governor also said that some of the wounded were in critical condition, and the death toll might rise. There was no immediate claim of responsibility by Taliban or other armed insurgent groups, but the Afghan interior ministry condemned the attack as an “un-Islamic act” carried out by “enemies of peace and stability”, a term often used by government officials to refer to Taliban.
In what analysts describe as a change of approach, Taliban insurgents are now attacking mainly civilian targets in order to inflict as many casualties as they can and create an environment of fear. Violence has risen sharply in recent months as US-led international forces step up their efforts to defeat the Taliban ahead of a gradual, conditions-based withdrawal of foreign troops due to start in July.
There are around 140,000 international troops fighting a bloody insurgency waged by the Taliban since they were ousted in a US-led invasion in late 2001. Meanwhile, a roadside bomb killed nine civilians including women and children when it struck the vehicle they were travelling in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, provincial police said.
The civilians were driving into Khost city, capital of Khost province, when the blast hit their van, deputy provincial police chief Mohammad Yaqoub Mandozai told AFP. “Three women, four children and two men were killed by the roadside bomb explosion. They were all civilians,” Mandozai said. He blamed the attack on “enemies of Afghanistan” a term often used to refer to Taliban militants who have waged a bloody insurgency against Afghan and foreign forces in Afghanistan.
Home made bombs, or Improvised Explosive Devices, are the weapon of choice for the Taliban insurgents and the main cause of casualties among Afghan and foreign forces. The insurgents also use suicide bombings and rocket attacks. Three rockets were fired into the heart of Kabul Saturday morning, with one landing close to the presidential palace, interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary said.
However, the attack came before the start of the rush hour when the city was almost empty and caused no casualties.

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