20 dead, 34 injured in Faryab suicide blast
MAIMANA (Pajhwok): At least 20 people were killed and another 34 wounded on Wednesday when a suicide attacker struck a district bazaar in northern Faryab province, an official said.
The blast took place at around 11:45am, said Faryab police spokesman Syed Massoud Yaqubi. Most of the victims were civilians. The dead included a policeman and a child was among those wounded.
Dr. Ehsanullah, an official at the Afghan-Turk Hospital in Maimana, confirmed receiving the wounded people, including Afghan National Police (ANP), border police and National Directorate of Security (NDS) personnel.
He said 10 of the wounded were in critical condition.
Abdul Mobin, a border police official who was injured in the blast, said: “We were in the Qara Ghoili locality of Almar when we got a report about a suicide attacker’s entry into the bazaar. As we reached the bazaar, the blast took place.” He said Ghulam Sakhi Kohi, the Almar’s NDS chief, was also wounded.
A wounded NDS official told Pajhwok Afghan News from his hospital bed: “We were aware of the attack and were searching suspected places, the bomber came and exploded himself in the middle of us.”
Maj. Reza Reza, a spokesman for the 209th Shaheen Military Corps in Faryab, said one army soldier lost his life to the attack and two others were wounded.
Security officials blamed the Taliban for the deadly attack, but the insurgent group has not commented about the incident so far. Last week, a blast in front of a Kabul Bank branch in Maimana injured 24 people, including three policemen.
Meanwhile, the attack drew strong condemnation from the United States and the United Nations.
The US Embassy in Kabul issued a statement condemning the attack on civilians at the marketplace in Faryab.
“The attack targeting civilians demonstrates a complete disregard for life and liberty. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of today's attack as well as their friends and families,” the US Embassy statement said.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) also condemned the attack in Almar district.
“This horrific attack against civilians in a market demonstrates an appalling disregard for human life,” said Nicholas Haysom, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan.
“UNAMA has repeatedly called for an immediate ban on weapons which kill indiscriminately and that are used in civilian-populated areas.”
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