Execute held Iranian attackers, say Nimroz residents
ZARANJ (PAN): Families of those killed and wounded in last week’s coordinated suicide attacks in southwestern Nimroz province on Wednesday called for execution of the detained Iranian suicide bombers.
Officials say at least 35 people were killed and 120 others were wounded in the suicide attacks, but civilians dispute the figures, saying more than 50 people have been killed and 130 others wounded in Zaranj city.
Shortly afterwards, police in northern Kunduz said 12 people were killed in another blast, with more than 30 others sustaining injuries.
The Dasht-i- Archi district in Kunduz said the bomb had been placed on a motorbike and had gone off in a main square shortly before the end of the day's Ramadan fast.
Intelligence officials have said 14 potential suicide bombers had infiltrated Zaranj city. Some had been arrested on Monday, with further arrests early on Tuesday. Reports say two of the bombers' explosives were detonated when police fired on them.
Qadir, 21, who lost his five-year-old brother in the attacks, asked “did they (attackers) kill my brother for links with government or foreign troops?”
President Hamid Karzai, who arrived in Zaranj city a day earlier, met with family members of those killed and wounded. He offered condolences to the bereaved families and gave monetary assistance.
“In the past, Iran would provide weapons and other supplies to militants in Afghanistan for attacks, but now the country has started sending suicide bombers,” said Qadir, who called for death punishment to the detained bombers.
An injured, Faridullah, said the government should ask Iran to explain its position on the assaults and should award capital punishment to the arrested men.
Another injured, Ajmal, said Iran was the second biggest enemy of Afghanistan after Pakistan. The two countries send bombers to Afghanistan for killing innocent people and destroying buildings. “We shouldn’t consider Iran as a good neighbour, but see it a threat to us,” he added, while demanding death penalties for the surviving suicide attackers.
Sitara, a 19-year-old resident of Zaranj, said the citizens were killed in cold blood on the 27th of Ramadan. “My younger sister died of her severe wounds,” she said, asking the government not to spare the perpetrators behind the attacks and seek explanation from the Iranian government.
Iran has rejected the claims that Tehran orchestrated the coordinated suicide attacks, Iran's English-language Press TV reported on Sunday.
Afghanistan's spy agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), killed two alleged insurgents and detained three more for what they said were involved in the bombings in Nimroz. The NDS said the five were Iranian citizens trained for suicide bomb missions.
"Stressing the friendly relations between Iran and Afghanistan, (Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin) Mehmanparast on Saturday denied any meddling by Iran," state-funded Press TV wrote on its site.
"(He) rejected the allegation that Iran was involved in the recent explosions in the Afghan province of Nimroz," it said.
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