Death toll from Paktika bombing rises to 62
SHARAN (Pajhwok): The death toll from Sunday’s suicide bombing during a volleyball match in southeastern Paktika province has risen to 62, with more than 84 wounded, officials said on Monday.
The suicide bomber detonated his explosives as he mingled with the large crowd watching a volleyball match between the Yahyakhel and Yusufkhel districts as part of an inter-district volleyball tournament in the Yahyakhel district at around 4:30 pm.
Deputy Governor Attaullah Fazli told Pajhwok Afghan News their investigation showed 61 people had been killed and 66 others wounded in the attack.
He said the death toll might be higher because some wounded people had been taken to private hospitals by their relatives.
Governor's spokesman Mukhlis Afghan had previously put the number of those instantly died at 42, with 14 others dying of their injuries at Sharana hospital while another person lost his life in Kabul hospital.
He said among the 60 injured persons, four were discharged after treatment while the rest shifted to Kabul by helicopters, he said.
Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman Gen. Zahir Azimi said 54 wounded people were brought to to Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan hospital in Kabul by Afghan National Army (ANA) helicopters.
Deputy Governor Attaullah Fazli said the attacker was on a bicycle and attacked the playground packed with spectators and players. He said Sharan Hospital officials had confirmed receiving 50 dead bodies and over 60 wounded with most in critical condition.
The dead, he said, included elderly persons, players and children. It was the final match of the tournament, he said, adding two police commanders with local policemen were there to watch the game.
An eyewitness, wishing anonymity, said three local police commanders and seven others policemen were among the dead. He said 55 persons were confirmed dead and 66 others suffered multiple injuries.
President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah strongly condemned the incident.
A statement from the Presidential Palace quoted Ghani as saying “it was an inhumane and a barbaric act. These kinds of attacks are against the teachings of Islam and humanity.”
“It is the handiwork of the enemy of Afghanistan,” the statement said. The president called Paktika Governor Muhibullah Samim and directed him to investigate the “tragic incident and leave no stone unturned to nab the perpetrators.”
Afghan security forces rushed to the area to ensure that the injured were quickly shifted to hospitals. The president expressed grief over the loss of precious lives in the incident and prayed for swift recovery of those wounded.
Abdullah asked security organs to investigate the attack and bring those responsible to justice.
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