Thursday, March 14, 2013

10 buzkashi game spectators killed in Afghanistan suicide attack

Districts of Kunduz.
Districts of Kunduz. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
KABUL - A suicide bomber blew himself up, killing 10 people Wednesday as a crowd of Afghans was watching the traditional sport of goat grabbing locally known as buzkashi, officials said.
Among the 10 killed in the bombing in the remote village of Basos were several family members of the Afghan speaker of parliament, according to police spokesman Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai.

Ahmadzai said the dead include his father, a nephew and two brothers, one among them was the district police chief.

At least eight people were wounded after the attacker strapped with explosives struck during the game being played in front of 3,000 spectators, the spokesman said.

Buzkashi, or "goat grabbing", is the national sport of Afghanistan, and involves two teams who try to accumulate points by propelling a headless goat carcass to the scoring area.

Buzkashi is often compared to polo as it is played on horseback.

However, while polo is played with a ball, and buzkashi is played with a headless goat.

The attack occurred around 6 p.m. local time, as fans were gathering around the players after they came off the field at the end of the match, Kunduz province police spokesman Syed Sarwar said.

Afghan president Hamid Karzai condemned the bombers for attacking Afghan civilians.

"There was no foreign soldier or individual there, yet this was carried out by those terrorists who claim they are the enemies of foreign forces," Karzai said in a statement.

Meanwhile, US military officials Wednesday said they were probing the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan Monday night that killed five American service members.

The death of five US troops brought the total number of US troops killed that day to seven, making it the deadliest day for US forces so far this year.

Two US special operations forces were gunned down hours earlier in an insider attack by an Afghan policeman in eastern Afghanistan.

The NATO military coalition said in a statement that initial reports showed no enemy activity in the area at the time of the helicopter crash. The cause of the crash is under investigation, the statement said.

A US official said all five of the dead were American. The official said the helicopter went down outside Kandahar city.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

from ANI
Wednesday 13th March, 2013

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